I Am Thankful….

After my month of “I am thankful for….” days, I thought I’d end with this….

Day #30:

I am thankful…for the husband who complains when his dinner
is not on time because he is home with me, not with someone else.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes
because that means she is at home & not on the streets.

For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party, because it means
that I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it
means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work, because
it means I am out in the sunshine.

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning,
and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government,
because it means that we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot,
because it means I am capable of walking and that I have
been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church that sings off key,
because it means that I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it
means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day,
because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours,
because it means that I am alive.

Obviously this writing was not my own because some of these circumstances do not apply to me (having a teenager, owning a home, etc) but all the same, I am thankful….

Thanksgiving 2012

The last time we were in Texas for Thanksgiving was 2009….so, it was a blessing to be able to be close to family this year!

We had Thanksgiving lunch this year at Paul’s sister’s house. She and Mike, Paul’s dad, live in Temple, about an hour and a half away. We had a nice time, just the six of us!

Paul, David, Susan, and Donna–around the IPad, watching Duck Dynasty

the boys and their toys!

Susan, Paul, and David

Paul and me-2012

 

On Thursday afternoon/evening we drove up to Waco to see my parents (and my sister, Marcy, and her son, Kainoa).

Marcy and my dad

checking out the “Black Friday” deals

Marcy and I ready to go shopping–we went to Target and Wal-Mart

On Friday morning Paul drove back home to Giddings, but I went to East Texas to see the rest of our “extended family” (from my dad’s side)….

Kainoa “helping” Judson on the backhoe

my first time on the 4-wheeler

w/Kainoa as my driver!!!

Mike, Carla, Meagan, Michelle, and Clayton

the original Hubbard cousins–we’re only missing Leslie

Dad, Aunt Ila, and Uncle Tom

Dustin, Stephanie, and Ryan

Marcy and Michelle snuggling

me “resting” in the recliner

On Sunday I came back to Waco and had lunch with the Derrick family. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Derrick’s. I started babysitting them in May 1998, Sarah was not even a year old yet….and now she is 15 (and driving)!!! 🙂 Ally is almost 20 and Lindsey is 18….

Ally, me, Sarah, and Lindsey

I had a great “week” of Thanksgiving, but I am glad to be home! I have pretty much been gone since November 12th–9 days in Illinois, 1 day home, and 5 days traveling for Thanksgiving….whew! I’m tired!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Day-Seven Years Ago

On Thanksgiving Day, 2005…..Paul gave me this note he wrote:And then I said YES!

Thanksgiving Day, 7 years ago, Paul asked me to marry him, and I said, Yes!”

our engagement picture

And here’s a collage through the years!

I love you, Paul, more today than yesterday. You make ME a better version of MYSELF!

 

Where My Heart Is…..

Since the day we moved “back” to Texas, I’ve been wanting to go back and visit Illinois (and, no, I’m not exaggerating)…..I really wanted to go this summer, but it just didn’t happen. So, when the fall rolled around, I knew we could go. I’ve been looking forward to and anticipating this trip for the past two months, every week e-mailing our friends and saying, “Only 4 more weeks!” “Only 3 more weeks!” and so on…..

And it finally arrived–

I cannot tell you how excited I was and how much my heart swelled when I landed in Peoria. My heart certainly is still in Illinois with our church and camp families….

I’ll just let the pictures do most of the talking because I cannot adequately put into words how blessed I was….

After arriving on Monday afternoon I drove over to camp and surprised Shannon and the kids. Ethan and Andi were outside playing when I drove up. I squatted down on the driveway and said hello to Andi. It took her a second to realize who I was, but she immediately jumped up and said, “That’s My Callie. My Callie is here!” (She’s 3, by the way)….melted my heart. She wouldn’t let go of me for the whole hour I was visiting. She kept petting my hair saying, “My Callie, My Callie.”

Ethan, Andi, and me

Jeremiah-5 months old

It was my first time to meet Jeremiah because he was born after we moved.

On Monday night we had dinner with the Cline’s and then spent the night at their house. Paige is one of my dearest friends that lives in Illinois. I miss her terribly!

Paige and me

On Tuesday we drove up to Aurora and visited some friends, Brian and Julie. Leo is 22 months old and Ali is 9 days old! 🙂

me, Leo, Julie, Brian (and Ali)

On Tuesday night we had dinner with our friends, the Kelly’s. Faith was Paul’s little “girlfriend” when we went to CCC. She loves Paul!

Paul and Faith

Wednesday we spent the better of the day in Lacon, visiting with friends and hanging out at camp! (Oh, how I miss Ember and Shannon)….

Ember and me

I also went to Pizza Peel for lunch on Wednesday (My Fave)!! with some good “Lacon” friends….

Ember, Amanda, Jen, and me

Wednesday night we stayed with Bob and Angie from CCC. Bob is the pastor at CCC and one of my dear friends…..I absolutely love hanging out with Bob and visiting with him and Angie (It was also Bob’s birthday, so I told him that “us” visiting was his present)!

playing Ticket to Ride with Bob and Angie

Thursday we spent the morning at CCC, visiting with Rusty, Jacob, and Bob.

CCC Reunion: Lori, Jacob, Rusty, Paul, me, and Bob

Thursday afternoon and most of Friday we spent hanging out camp with our “camp family!”

Ethan

playing a little pick-up basketball with Jacob

Andi, Becca, and Hannah playing “princesses”

Andi and Becca-two peas in a pod

lovin’ on Hannah

Shannon and Jeremiah

Jacob and Ethan

Paul and the Klingbiel kids

our camp family

“The Real Campwives of Marshall County”
Ember, Nikki, Shannon, and me

the guys: Graham, Paul, Mark, Jim, Tyler, (and Jeremiah)

Becca got braces, so she wanted to show them off

Hannah and Andi

Paul, Hannah, and me

Becca and me

Paul left to go home on Saturday, but I stayed through Monday. I was able to worship at CCC on Sunday! 🙂

Megan and me

I had a fantastic time! 🙂
But, over the course of the week, I also remembered that we have great friends here, too, in Giddings. Today was proof of that! I got to have lunch with Melissa, talk to Toni on the phone, and have dinner with Audrey and Victoria! We are blessed to have “families” in Illinois and Texas! Thank you for loving us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half-full/Half-empty?

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill

Which one are you? Uuuummm…..me. I’m a little bit of both, depending on the situation, I guess. Probably NOT the best answer, but it’s who I am.

You might say I have a split-personality, depending on what’s going on around me. A little silly, I know. For me, in many situations, I have one emotion that reigns far above all the rest. Frustration.

I get frustrated A LOT!!! It’s the “F” word in my vocabulary. The ten-letter word that is used when I cannot (or don’t quite know how to) express my feelings. It’s a “cop-out” actually….an emotion to refer to when nothing else will do.

But, what does being frustrated actually mean?

As I look back over this week (especially the last couple of days) in my opinion, I have had some moments of frustration.

In one of our “marriage moments” we were having I kept telling Paul that I was frustrated–over and over I was frustrated.

This morning I had a rough morning….I was frustrated. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t disappointed. I was frustrated. I use that word a lot, but do I really even know what it means?

My trusty old friend Webster (the dictionary) says that frustration means: “a deep sense of discouragement; a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs”

BINGO!

I think when I’m frustrated it’s because, in my opinion, my needs are not being met (to the standards that I think they should be) and I’m dissatisfied because my opinions are not being valued (again, to my specifications).

So for me, being frustrated EQUALS being selfish because people aren’t doing things MY way…..Ouch! It may not be that way for everyone, but for me, it really rang true because I think it’s really (so supposed to be) ALL ABOUT ME…..

Looking back (and thinking back) I see now that, in those moments, I’m not really frustrated. I’m selfish.

Selfish and discouraged. To be discouraged means to deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.

Many times over the course of my life (recently, in the last couple of weeks), I think my spirit has been discouraged because it’s been deprived of hope. I had hoped someone would use my suggestion. I would hope someone would do what I asked told them to do. I had hoped that I would get my way….

***I’m using hope to really just get my way….(I don’t really think that’s what the Lord had in my mind when he said, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5) NIV)***

See. It’s a combination of discouragement and selfishness. So, in those moments, my glass is definitely half-empty.

The next question to ask is….how do you get past it? What do you do?

  • Ask Yourself: Even though I feel like everything is going wrong, what is going right?

I guarantee that if you look for a blessing, even in a very frustrating moment, you can’t help but smile (and seemingly, the frustration will subside).

  • Keep a “blessings” journal or a “thanksgiving” list

You will amaze yourself. The focus of your mind and the shift of your thoughts will, when given the opportunity, turn towards others, meaning that the focus will NOT be on you (and your selfish attitude that says it’s “All About Me.”)

  • Focus on what made you feel that certain way (frustrated) in the first place.

How did you get to that moment of frustration? Is it really frustration (the sense of discouragement or a state of insecurity or dissatisfaction) or are you just being selfish? (Kind of hurts when someone calls you selfish, huh?)

  • Focus on what the desired outcome is? How do you want to feel when the particular situation or moment is over?

Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in one problem (or one feeling) and trying to solve it (or express it) that we forget what we were originally trying to accomplish or even what we were originally talking about in the first place. (When Paul and I are having a “marriage moment” and arguing about discussing something 9 times out of 10 our argument discussion ends up in a completely different place than where we started because we usually forget what the original topic was about)

  • Come up with a solution to get out from underneath the feeling that has surrounded you.

When you get seriously frustrated, you tend to get hung up on that feeling and nothing anyone can say (or do) can change it. You hold on to it for dear life, as if it’s an old, faithful friend who knows all your deepest, darkest secrets. LET IT GO!

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” -Thomas Edison.

When we get frustrated, we feel like a failure. We see life, in general, as half-empty–we can’t get past the “funk” we’ve put ourselves in. So, we give up.

There’s a great song by Jamie Grace that says:

“I’ve got waves that are tossin’ me,
Crashin’ all over my beliefs,
And in all sincerity, Lord,
I wanna be yours,
So pull me out of this mess I’m in…

You lead, I’ll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly,
When you lead, I’ll follow,
Just light the way and I’ll go,
Cause I know what you got for me is more then I can see,
So lead me on,and on, on,and on
Just lead me on, and on, on and on….”

We need to get out of the “mess” we’ve put ourselves in and give it up to the Lord. He is faithful to carry us through, even when we don’t feel like it.

  • Along with feeling frustrated, we worry, which has no productivity. So, STOP IT!

Worrying is a definite waste of energy and does not move you in a forwards direction. (But, let me tell you, I am preaching to the choir because I am the “QUEEN” of worrying)….once you move beyond the “half-empty” glass and towards the “half-full” glass, you’ll most likely find that you worried for no reason.

  • Figure out a positive outcome to your problem–beyond the frustration.

When I am frustrated about something, all I can focus on is the negative. It’s never going to get better. No one will ever listen to me. They’ll never call. All of those are negative words. Stay positive. (A lot easier said than done, especially in the moment). Things are usually not as bad as they first appear. Sometimes, things seem much worse simply because we’re tired or mentally drained.

This morning, I was really frustrated (and being selfish) about a certain topic. I had lunch plans with a friend, which I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do anymore because of my feelings of “woe is me.” Paul urged me to go because it would take my mind off of the situation. And…you know what? It did. I didn’t think about it at all during lunch. And, it actually worked itself out after lunch (without me even thinking about it–imagine that?!)

The time of frustration will pass. A positive mind is far more open to solutions and answers than a negative one.

And, just when you least expect it, your glass will be half-full….with your favorite beverage, of course! 🙂

A Look Back….Vacation Packing 101

Paul and I are leaving on Sunday for vacation….so, I thought I would re-visit a blog post that I wrote when we went on vacation back in 2011.

Enjoy!

(Originally this post was written in January 2011)….

Here’s how I pack:

About a week before leaving, I begin to think about what I’m going to be doing and the people I am going to be seeing while we are gone.

About five days before leaving, I start thinking about what I’m going to wear while I’m doing the things I am going to be doing and seeing the people I am going to be seeing.

About four days before leaving, I start doing laundry to make sure those clothes I am going to be wearing while doing the things I am going to be doing and seeing the people I am going to be seeing are clean.

About three days before leaving, I think about the clothes I can wear for the next three days that I don’t want to wear while on vacation when I will be wearing what I want to wear while doing the things I am going to be doing and seeing the people I am going to be seeing.

About two days before the trip, I fold and put up the clothes that I washed a couple of days ago because I know I will have to pick through and pack the clothes I want to wear while I’m doing the things I am going to be doing and seeing the people I am going to be seeing while wearing the clothes that I haven’t worn for the past three days because those are now dirty and I’m not doing laundry again before we leave.

About a day before we leave, I sort through my clothes (in my mind) and figure out what can be worn twice, based on the idea that I am going to be in four different cities doing the things I am going to be doing and seeing the people I am going to be seeing and they won’t know that I wore the same outfit twice in one week.  During this same day (about a day before) I also wear a pair of jeans that I want to wear on Saturday (on the plane) as to stretch them out, so they will not be uncomfortable while we sit in a small, cramped place for two hours before getting to our destination where I will do the things I am going to be doing while seeing the people I want to see.

The night before we leave (which is tonight) I will pack the clothes I want to wear so I can do the things I want to do and see the people I want to see for 9 days, knowing I can wear the same outfit at least twice and that I have to share a suitcase with Paul.

TRUST ME, I’ve gotten a lot better….all through junior high and high school I used to make a list (literally, on paper) of everything I was going to wear each day, even down to the underwear.  TRUST ME, this is progress.

Here’s how Paul packs:

Throw some clothes in a bag and see if the zipper will close.

Smithville/5th Quarter

On Friday I went to the last Home game Pep Rally….

Coach Jones giving a “football” speech

Victoria cheering

Victoria cheering with the 2013 signs in the background

It was another tough night for the Giddings Buffaloes…..

Kimmy, Jaycie, me, and Audrey at the game

We hosted the last 5th Quarter at the Baptist church….

Aldo and Joseph playing pool

Madison playing ping-pong

Andrew and Eric playing pool

Kimmy and Victoria

Victoria and Jaycie

Eric won the BIG giveaway–an Ipod Touch

Richard (licking his shoe–I have NO IDEA–don’t ask)!!

Jasmine and me

Paul and me

The Buffaloes still have a chance, if they can beat Yoakum!! 🙂 GO Buffs!