Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cherishing the Moments

We haven't carved pumpkins in years but this year I felt a little urgency to go and buy a few so we could have one last family carving before the family is separated next year. I get a little sad thinking about it but I have to face the fact that this is my last year with family at home. Cory will be getting married this year and making his own family memories and Hannah will be heading to college somewhere. Amber has already flown the coop to Bowling Green and I'm starting to feel an urgency to grab all the memories I can this year with them. I know, in reality, that we will all still be making memories but it seems like the times of having more than one kid around at a time are fleeting by quickly. When I move to Atlanta next year, I will be experiencing empty nest almost immediately. I'm hoping that Hannah will come and be there for awhile until she leaves for college but she is starting to show signs of wanting to hold onto Colorado and establishing her independence and I'm not sure I want to let go of her just yet.
I've always told myself that my job as a mother is to make my children independent of me. To teach them to fly on their own. I think I've done that but it's still scary to let them out of the nest. I feel like I've missed a little bit of teaching along the way and I want to protect them from mistakes and trials. But with growing up comes a lot of learning and that learning can only be done when they are out flying on their own. I hope I've gotten them prepared for what lies ahead but I know that I will always be there to guide them along until they have found their way. So for now, this year, I hope I can cram a few more memories in while I can. I hope they will be somewhat cooperative and humor me with their time a little. It's been a weird year, that's for sure, but I can't sit around moping about being away from Russ and miss these last few memories with my kids. The time flies by so quickly and these moments will be gone before I know it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Oneness of Marriage

I've made another trek to Georgia this week and as I reunite with my husband each month during this VERY WEIRD year, I'm struck by the fact that when we are together, I feel complete again. The bible talks about in Genesis how a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. The "two become one" is commonly used in marriage ceremonies but even though it was used in mine, I didn't really understand the concept of that until much later. At what point does that happen? Was it when we had kids? Was it after a year? Two years? I can't really say when it happened for me, but all I know is somewhere along the way in those 25 years, it has happened and it's become more evident to me this year as we are separated for weeks at a time. Russ is truly my "better half" and he is very much interwoven into the essence of "me" and what makes me complete. When he left in May, I felt like I was walking around in a daze. I didn't know how to function "alone". It becomes more evident to me when we are reunited and I find that I am sleeping better, I'm feeling more confident and I find myself smiling again. Several people commented to me at church Sunday that they could tell I was happier that day. I told them I was going to see Russ the next day. I always say, "I found my smile" when I'm back with him. I've avoided going to several social functions this summer/fall with the church folks because I don't like that "alone" feeling I get when I'm around the church group. We always went to everything together and so when I attend those things it just pronounces the fact that I'm not with Russ right now and so for me, it's easier to stay home and pretend that he's just out in the yard working. Silly, I know but I guess we all find our own ways of coping with changes. I've found my smile this week though and hope that time will pass quickly this year so that I can once again feel like a "complete person" beside the love of my life, Russ. What can I say....I just love the guy and life is a much happier place sharing it with him.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Colorado Autumn

It's been an especially beautiful fall this year in Colorado. The weather has stayed nice up until now and we've had blue skies and sunshine most of the month. I hope to take a drive this weekend and check out the aspens. I've heard they are exceptionally beautiful in Cripple Creek area. It will be lonely making the drive alone this year since Russ and I usually go for a few hikes to enjoy the beauty of the season. How I long to go for a long walk through the woods with him this weekend. He says that the trees in Georgia are starting to change now so I'm hoping with my next visit we will be able to enjoy the beauty of the season with a few hikes in Peachtree. It's hard to believe we've made it through almost five months apart now. I'm learning a lot with him gone. This week I winterized the house and learned how to drain the sprinkler system, caulk the windows and mulch the plants. (all things that Russ normally does). I was told when we started this that I would find that I have more strength than I ever knew I had. I guess if I have to look at the bright side of things, I'm learning a lot about myself and I've grown to appreciate Russ even more with all that he's done around here for years. Fall is Russ's favorite time of year and it's sad to not be out sharing it with him. I'm feeling a little melancholy that this could be my last fall in Colorado myself and I know that I will miss the beauty of the aspens. My first year here I was sad to not see more colors than yellow all around since my falls in northern Ohio and Indiana were always full of hues of red, yellows and oranges but I grew to love the look of the golden trees throughout the state. I will miss it here. Colorado has been one of my most favorite places to live. It's a place I've always dreamed of living and now that I've lived here, it will be hard to leave. I try to have an open mind though and I'm sure I will grow to love Georgia too once I get moved there. Just being back together with Russ makes anyplace feel like home.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Engagement

I had them re-enact the asking part for me to take a picture. Wanted a few close-ups of the ring too. They were all smiles that night. It was nice to see Cory so happy. He's had a lot of ups and downs with girls but I've always said that he is happiest when he has a girl at his side. He's meant to be married. I guess you could say that Stephanie helped him "find his smile" and that makes me happy. She has told me before How much she loves my son and I told her that has always been my wish for him to find someone that loves him as much as I do. I think she will be a good wife for him. She has her priorities in order and places Christian, wife and motherhood as her top priorities. That has impressed me from the start. Many girls her age now are all about getting that top career and being independent so it was refreshing for him to find someone who is going to be a dedicated wife and mother and who will work with him towards achieving a goal of heaven. Here are a few more pics from the night.

Here's Cory with his "what do I do now?" pose. And then a nice one of him hugging his girl. They make such a cute couple.
I guess this will be a busy winter with wedding plans in the works. Luckily most of that will fall to her family but I'm sure I'll be involved in some way too. They haven't set a date yet but they want to try to have it sometime in May or early June.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My Little Man is All Grown Up!

Wow, two posts in one day. It's a record for me. I thought it was important to document the "Big News" on the actual day. My son, Cory, has proposed to his girlfriend, Stephanie and they are now officially engaged. I'm really excited for him. He's had the ring since early summer but has been waiting for the right moment to pop the question. He took her to an expensive restaurant tonight and got on his knees and asked her. She said yes, of course, and now the plans are in motion for a wedding. They've been dating since last Christmas and it seemed like they hit it off from the start. I'm really happy for them. It's great to see new love blooming and growing. They came by here after their dinner out and I took a bunch of pictures of them. I told them to make sure to get pictures at the restaurant and of the outside of the restaurant so that we can make a good scrapbook page out of the deal. I think I have him trained up good. He even brought me the receipt from the meal and some brochures. They were all smiles tonight and I have to say it brought a smile to my face as well. Looks like I'll be gaining another daughter come summertime. I think she will fit into the family nicely.

Missing Russ

It's hard to put into words the feelings I have for my husband, Russ. We've known each other for 27 years and been married for 25. When we decided he should take the new job in Georgia, we knew it would be a challenging year. I don't think either one of us really realized how hard it would be to experience loneliness. He is stuck in an apartment until I can sell the house and for a man that is used to working in the yard and around the house as a hobby in his spare time, he's found himself with very little to keep himself busy. I thought that since I would still have two kids here that I would have the easier time but I'm feeling the pangs of loneliness as well. The kids are both working and involved with school activities so they are rarely home. I never listened to how quiet the house can be when it's just me. Russ and I share a very wonderful relationship. He's my best friend and confidant and we enjoy spending time together walking or hiking or visiting with friends. It's been hard for me to get out for a walk with him gone but the times that I have I really get that lonely feeling and I yearn to have him walking beside me. I totally hate the quiet of the night. The first month I don't think I slept much. I was so used to hearing him snore or stir at night and when it was totally quiet, I didn't know what to do. He's always been my strong rock. When things go wrong, I can always count on his calm way of handling things and easing my worries. I totally appreciate all he's always done for the family now that I'm trying to do everything myself. He always made it look so easy but I'm finding out that it is quite a stressful thing to be the "man of the house". I thank God daily for my husband. He is a rare jewel that somehow found me. I am so very lucky to wear the name of such a special guy. May this year fly by quickly so we can be back together full-time again. Until then, I'll be content to hear his voice on the phone each night, and to pack as much togetherness as I can in each monthly visit we get this year. I pray that God will keep him safe and happy while he is away from me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crazy Frustrating Summer

It's been awhile since I've written on here so I thought I'd better do an update and try once again to be more regular with posting. So much has happened this year that it's been hard to sit down and do much of anything extra. I'm longing for those carefree days when I could just sit and scrap and have company over and just enjoy life. Where did they go this year?
In March, Russ and I went on a mini vacation to Mississippi where he had a training course to attend. While traveling we discussed the idea of him pursueing other jobs because he was getting frustrated with his job at Ft. Carson. I encouraged him and told him that I would be fine with leaving and I can be happy anywhere as long as we're all together. We discussed the new challenges of making a move now that our kids are much older and might not want to follow us. All in all we decided we would take it as it came. Well it came at us quickly in April when he landed a job in Peachtree City, GA. It was a promotion for him and something he's been hoping to do for a long time so we felt that he should take it. The only problem was that it was our youngest daughter, Hannah's senior year coming up. We both felt it would not be fair to her to move her on her senior year so we decided we would have to pretend like we're a military family with a deployed husband and he would go on to the job and I would stay behind with Hannah to finish up her senior year and try to sell the house. We both knew it would be hard since we've never really been apart more than two weeks at a time but we figured we could travel back and forth monthly and see each other and we would make it work. That's when my world went topsy turvy. We immediately went to work getting the house ready for selling and found a realtor. He left Colorado on Memorial Day weekend and I don't think I've cried that much in a long time. That first week was really rough. I was thrown right into house selling by the first week of June. We were having showings almost daily and I was finding it quite challenging trying to keep up with the inside and outside chores of the house. We were excited when near the end of June we got our first offer on the house. It was a preacher and family and they had cash. Their offer was good and they wanted to close within two weeks. They brought their church friends out to look at the house and they seemed to be "in love" with our house. I felt like it was going to be an easy sale and life was going along pretty smoothly with our plans. I hurriedly looked for and found a three bedroom apartment we could move into and set up the movers and moving day for the household shipments. I moved us into the apartment with the help of my church family on the weekend before I was supposed to fly out to GA to see Russ. I even had them take down curtains, pictures, shelves. I was sure that all was going along as planned and we had secure buyers. I was flying out on a Tuesday morning and we would have movers at the house a few days after my return trip. Monday evening at about 5:00 my realtor called me with the bad news that the buyers had backed out. More crying. I called all my church friends and they all came out and helped me hang pictures, curtains and shelves back up and re-stage our home for showings while I was gone. I flew out the next morning and had a relaxing 10 days with Russ checking out our new home. We had planned that we would be house shopping at the time but it didn't quite work out that way. As soon as I returned, though, the stress hit once again. I now had to decide if I should stay in the apartment and hope to sell soon or move back home and break the lease. I went and researched how much I would owe if I broke the lease and it was about $1,600 to $2000 depending on how soon in the month I decided to break the lease. Talk about sick feeling. I fretted about it for a few days and after talking to friends decided to go ahead and stick it out for the month and see how things went. In the meantime I was traveling back and forth between house and apt. and trying to upkeep both. I had four living expenses to pay for (our apt. our house, Russ's apt. and Amber's apt.) So I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the bills to pay. Then the car problems started hitting and I had to put almost $1,500 into car repairs. My cat, Gizmo decided this was a good time to tear his ACL tendon in his leg and we had to put him in for surgery for that at another $1,200. I then get a phone call that my Mom had fallen and broken her hip and was taken to the hospital. So by this time, I was about to lose it. Poor Russ is in GA listening to my crying calls about every other day and feeling a little helpless to ease my pain. By the time the end of July hit I had to decide once again whether I should pay the next month's rent or move home. I called our realtor and she said we had another family who wanted to put an offer on the house. That was all I needed to hear so I paid the rent and then started the process all over again with the new buyers. I called and set up movers and they started the appraisal process and inspections. I kept telling myself, surely bad luck was over and this would all work out but the little voice in my head kept saying....I can't get too excited, they may back out. Sure enough the day they had to reply to the inspection report, they too decided to back out of the house sale. By this time I'm feeling like quite a "cursed woman". I was being hit from every side. I told Russ I had had enough and I wanted to move back home. I took in my 30 day notice and set up to have help with the move. I did a good part of the moving on my own taking loads on dishes and food one day, clothes and scrapping stuff the next day so that by Saturday the guys just needed to help me move the furniture. In the meantime I was told by the apt. people that if I could find someone to take my apt. in the next few weeks, I wouldn't owe the lease breaking fines. So I put the apt. on Craigslist and got a response the next day. Cory met the couple at the apt to show it to them and they seemed like they wanted it. Then they went into the office to find out what would be needed to get into the apt. and then we didn't hear from them again. The second call was from a nice girl from Fla who had just accepted a job in CS and needed a place and was very interested. Cory took pictures of it for me to send to her and she decided she wanted the apt. She told me her only problem would be that she had had identity theft and so pulling a credit report on her would not be accurate but she had documentation that showed that it had been investigated and she had been cleared. She could pass all their other criteria of job, rental history and criminal checks. The office girls were not happy about that and we began to feel like they really didn't want this to happen. They wanted my money and fees and then to be able to re rent it and collect the new person's fees. So we decided to add her mom into the picture so that she could be assured that she would be able to qualify. There should have been no reason for her not to qualify but she called me this morning to tell me that they decided not to qualify her. I told her that was just the way my summer has gone. I'm in GA as all of this is happening again so I won't be able to deal with it all until I return. I keep asking myself...."Can't something go right for me this summer" I'm beginning to wonder if there's a reason it's all going negative on me. I'm just hoping things will be looking up for fall. This is one summer I'm ready to see it go.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

It seems only fitting to start out the new year with the usual resolutions for the coming year. I've never been one to commit to resolutions but I always try to find a few goals to work towards to keep me motivated to always grow in some way. For this year my goal is communication. I want to be better at letter writing, emailing, journaling and card sending. I always plan to get a card off to someone who needs encouragement but I always tend to put it on the back burner and it never gets done. I really miss the old art of letter writing. We need to do it more. So much gets lost in the email thing and I miss going to the mailbox and finding something other than bills to greet me. I've decided to make it a goal to get a few others inspired to start corresponding via letter writing again and see what happens. Russ and I celebrated our 24th anniversary last month and I decided to write him 24 letters during the 24 days of December with each letter representing a year in our marriage. That was a huge project and I came close to giving up on the idea several times. I completed it though and he is now reading a letter or two each day to get through them. He seemed to be happy with the gift. (I worried that he would laugh about it and think it was silly but he was kind.) As I was writing them though I realized how long it had been since I'd written a letter of any kind. All of that spurred on this idea that I need to be better about keeping in touch with my friends and family. We'll see how it goes. Hope all of you who read my blog will commit to doing the same thing. Let's bring letter writing and card sending back. Welcome 2008!