And Now, I Shall Pour Out My Heart

I never know if I want to write what I am about to write.  I have written it many times in many ways and often let it sit in my drafts long enough that I end up hitting “delete” instead of “publish.”  I’m not sure why I haven’t been able cross that bridge to get it out there…but surely it has much to do with my pride.

How many times have I read a blogpost where another woman, mother, sister-in-Christ poured her heart out, expressed her frustration with her own inadequacies or wondered “aloud” whether she was alone?  I have often marveled at the bravery she exhibited in showing her vulnerability and believed it was beyond that which I was capable of.  Even now, as I decide to write these thoughts yet again…I wonder, do I have the strength or the temerity to actually publish?  But there it is, behind that thought where I think, “I would be naive and stupid to post these words, to show how unsure of myself I really am, to show my vulnerability so plainly.”

But…here goes nothing, as they say.

It is a daunting prospect for me to make new friends.  There.  I said it.  I am scared out of my wits to approach someone with whom I am newly acquainted.  I don’t make time for a lunch or a dinner or a time/event of any sort to learn more about them and, in turn, reveal more about myself to them.  I am afraid of rejection like nothing else.  It hurts to discover that someone I think I might really enjoy being friends with, most likely does not feel the same about me.  And therefore, knowing how that stings, I remain withdrawn.

It never occurred to me how much it would sting ME to realize there are kids who don’t prefer to spend time with my kids.  Or how it would feel when my child might not be chosen to an event or a gathering and be one left out of a group where s/he is normally included. 

One thing I have strived to teach my children as they have gotten older is that it is okay to be alone.  They always have Jesus by their side and I’ve told them Mom and Dad have their backs and will be there to support them and love them unconditionally.  It’s a regular occurrence in our house to express that every person is valuable and dignified based on their very existence, that no one needs to change who they are to earn love or respect. 

So far, it seems as though my oldest has learned this quite well.  If only I could learn my own lessons!  I find myself attaching my worth to whether I or my family are asked, consulted, cohorted with, or whether I am alone in my struggles.  I find myself questioning what I have said or done at certain points of time that might have pushed others away.  I find myself seeking to be someone I am not in order to obtain the friends I desire.

Even at this age of 38, when it is impossible to be someone other than who I am, I berate myself for speaking my mind, making the choices I do, living my faith life so openly.  Only sporadically am I able to step outside of my box, so to speak, and evaluate my words and actions objectively and even then, I slant towards the negative with regard to myself, my words, my actions.

I suppose I shall always struggle to accept the person God created me to be.  I suppose it will always sting when I see that I (or my child) is not chosen by those whom we would choose were the situations reversed. 

I pray that my own inadequacies in self-acceptance are not visible to my children who appear to understand that they are loved and accepted where it matters most.  I am almost in awe of my children in their own self-assurance and self-acceptance.  I’m almost sure they get it from their father.  🙂

And here is where I trail off…wondering whether I ought to hit “Publish Post” or “Save Now.” 

Here is where I wonder if I sound like a pathetic mess or if there really is something to these thoughts and feelings. 

I mean, the part of my brain that tells me to never let my guard down is screaming out, “Who are you kidding?!  Why are you sharing this?!” and another voice questions, “What is it you hope to accomplish here?”

I’m not sure who I’m kidding.  and I think I’m afraid to openly state why I have posted this here.  But, it’s my space where I’ve started to feel more comfortable.  And it’s what is on my mind and heart at this very moment and has been for a few days. 

So, here it is.


Monday Mumbles – 23

HAPPY FINAL FOUR MONDAY!  Yes, my beloved Kansas Jayhawks are in the Final Four of the Men’s NCAA tournament and so I guarantee you, there won’t be any mumbling – per se – around here!  
But I will have some random (oh…10 or so) thoughts for you to peruse!  Be sure to visit TOOJE at Circling the Square Table and if you choose to use her button and mumble yourself, she’ll link you up (if you tell her!)
1.  We had some lovely weekend weather here.  It was so lovely on Saturday that we didn’t make it to the usual Vigil Mass and ended up going on Sunday.  But that was terrific!
2.  I had an opportunity to reinforce to Sarah this weekend that she should always be herself and she doesn’t have to change who she is for anyone. 
3.  I find these moments to be almost as stressful for me watching my daughter go through them as they were for me when I went through them the first time.  I do know I am handling them differently than my mother did, which is not to say it’s better, but it’s different.  I just figure it’s best to reinforce that Sarah’s a great kid just the way she is and she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else. 
4.  Did I mention yet that my Jayhawks are in the Final Four?  Did I?  Oh…I did.  🙂  I am SO STINKIN’ EXCITED!
5.  I went to my first session of Boot Camp this morning.  OMGoodness.  It was a terrific workout.
6.  On Saturday, I went for a run where I ran more than I walked.  That was fun.  Afterwards, I took Helen on a .5-mile jog (for me) run (for her).  That was fun, too!
7.  I got some much-needed girl-time Saturday night with Maggie at From the Heart.  Sometimes you just need an hour or two to talk with someone who “gets” you. 
8.  I was so tempted to load the kids up in the van and head to Lawrence to welcome the KU boys home at Allen Fieldhouse.  But…I have to work tomorrow and they have school.  I think I’ll just bank that temptation and if things go well next weekend, we might see about a day off work/school on Tuesday.  🙂
9.  I’m just so freakin’ excited KU is in the Final Four!  I know!  I can’t stop writing it!  KU was NEVER supposed to be in this conversation this year.  It was a rebuilding year.  We had our top recruits out on academic ineligibility.  But every obstacle thrown at this team is like a huge chip on their shoulder and they work all the harder.  I love it.
10.  Ok.  One little mumble…I’m not liking Monday.  I would much rather we got some more weekend.

Have a great Monday and be sure to go visit TOOJE!

Tag, You’re It

What better way to wrap up the week than to participate in a lovely game of tag, right?  Katie over at NFP and Me tagged me earlier this week, so now I get to pass it on.  🙂
Here’s the idea:
  1. The first rule is to post these rules.  (Done!)
  2. Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life.
  3. Answer the questions for you set in the original post.
  4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
  5. Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.

I have got to get better about having my picture taken.  I just usually have the camera in my hands.  But here I am with my baby boy and it’s a decent pic, which is kind of a miracle in and of itself.

Eleven things about myself/my life:
1.   I’m very opinionated
2.   I’m not a very good listener
3.   Married 13 years this summer
4.   I have been blessed with five children, three girls and two boys
5.   I’m a rabid KU fan (yes, I am annoying…apologies in advance)
6.   I was a toll collector in college and that job helped pay for some of my tuition and living expenses
7.   I ran a marathon in 2007
8.   I worked really hard and later that year, I ran my personal best in half marathon
9.   I dream of beating that half marathon time someday, but wonder if I might be too old
10. I’m a pretty pride-ful person (ironically, I am not proud of that)
11. I look on the bright side

Questions Katie asked of me:

1. Weirdest class you’ve ever taken?
— I took a Logic for Computer Programming course when I mistakenly thought I should be a Computer Science Major. 
2. If you could only eat 2 foods ever again what would they be?
— Olives and Pizza
3. What’s your go-to belt it out in the car song?
— Love Story or Back to December by Taylor Swift
4. What’s the most OCD thing you do?
— If people hand me papers stapled together and the corners don’t match up, or they have more than one staple, I will remove all extra staples, make sure corners line up and re-staple.
5. Favorite high school memory?
— Winning North Carolina State 4A High School Volleyball Championship my junior year (it was my school’s twelfth consecutive high school championship, but we had just moved and I made the team, ended up being one of the starters and that season was an all-around blast)
6. Won’t you share your opinion on camping? Love it or hate it?
— Strong Dislike for it.  (I’m a hotel with shower and air conditioning type of girl)
7. Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
— Ethiopian food (my brother-in-law had his rehearsal dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant)
8. E-reader or real book reader and why?
— real book reader.  Probably because I don’t have a Kindle (yet)
9. Favorite TV show currently on?
— Smash (really…I don’t watch much TV…mostly just college basketball, but I do like this show)
10. What’s your favorite award you’ve won?
— My favorite thing ever is the one 1st place medal I got for an individual event when I was 11 years old.  I won Division II 100 yard Individual Medley.  It was incredible.  I had gotten 1st place medals as members of relay teams, but this one was all mine.  🙂
11. What’s your claim to fame?
— Well, our family was featured in the March/April 2010 Family Foundations.  Courtesy Kathleen Basi.  That was pretty cool.

Well, that was…interesting, right?  I had to think about some of those!

Here are my questions for you whom are tagged:

1.   What’s your go-to alcoholic beverage?
2.   What’s your biggest accomplishment post-college?
3.   How many blogs do you follow?
4.   How many blogs do you regularly read?
5.   What’s your earliest memory?
6.   What is one word your mother would use to describe you?
7.   What is your favorite non-fiction book?
8.   What book have you read over and over again?
9.   What time do you get up in the morning?
10. What radio station genre do you listen to the most?
11. What was your favorite vacation?

Now for the tagging.  Well, I don’t know if I have anyone I can tag since Katie tagged a bunch that I would have tagged!  Okay, so maybe Sarah, Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Jamie.

Some Questions from the Technically Challenged

I have a few quick questions.  Okay, maybe the answers are not quick, but regardless, I need some help!

1.  Bloggers who Twitter – how do you get that gadget-thingy to track your tweets on your blog?  How do I add that to my blog?
2.  Bloggers who created a Facebook Page for your blog – how do you do that?  What category do you select after “Create a Page”?  And how do you get the gadget thingy on your blog where people can “like” your page from your blog?
3.  Bloggers who have that gadget-thingy that shows the location of visitors to your blog…is there a way to get that for free?  Or must I pay some subscription fee to get something like that?
Please don’t laugh at me for these questions.  I really just do not have time to figure it out on my own.  Believe me…I’ve already spent considerable time trying to figure it out and I figured I would just put out my plea for help and get one of you people who know what you’re doing to help me out!

When You Say Nothing

A few weeks ago, I heard the song that Craig and I danced to at our wedding on the radio, and I thought about blogging it.  Then Katie at NFP and Me came up with a great idea for a link up!  So I’ve kind of blended my idea for my post with hers.  Her questions helped provide some direction.  🙂

What’s your song? When You Say Nothing At All – Keith Whitley
Share a video if there is one?
Did you always have a song or did you have to find one?
Craig and I didn’t really have a song as we were going through the process of planning our wedding.  We both loved music, but had a variety of tastes.  Craig’s taste in music is quite varied by a large margin.  He really likes the band 311 but is also a big Johnny Cash fan and then he enjoys Barenaked Ladies, and I know his iTunes play lists include U2, Beastie Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Rush, Grateful Dead… you get my drift.  He’s been known to jam to some rap on occasion as well.
I go through phases with music.  Sometimes I’m a country girl.  Sometimes I’m an Elders (Celtic Rock) girl.  Sometimes I am an 80’s hairband girl.  Sometimes I blast Tone Loc (Funky Cold Medina!) or Sir Mix-a-lot (“Baby got Back!”) or Boys II Men.  Many days I love Journey.  These days I am a Taylor Swift girl.  Usually whatever I am in the mood for sticks around for awhile and then I will drift out of listening to any music, too.
Craig and I went to see the movie, Notting Hill, about 6 weeks before we got married and the movie had the Alison Kraus version of “When You Say Nothing At All” in it.  I had heard and really loved the song earlier in the 90’s when there was a digitally re-mastered version of the old Keith Whitley song made into a duet with Alison Kraus.

Craig and I both liked the song and decided that would be our song for our wedding.  And we decided we’d use the Keith Whitley version…because we kinda like originals.  🙂

What does it mean to you?
For me, the meaning of a song is all in the lyrics.  I like a good melody, but if the words aren’t meaningful, I don’t buy into it.  

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you’ll catch me whenever I fall
But you say it best when you say nothing at all

Something I might have romanticized a bit about marriage before getting married was the idea that it could be so great to know someone so well that you don’t have to talk all the time…or any of the time.  I don’t know if Craig and I knew each other this well on our wedding day, but it was the kind of relationship I hoped we’d always have. 
I don’t think we had it quite yet on the day we married.  At least not completely.  We were still so young, and understanding what someone says with their eyes, their smiles, their hands…not something that could be understood the same way.
How has the meaning changed since you first chose it?

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine

Chorus twice:
The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you’ll catch me whenever I fall
But you say it best when you say nothing at all

Interestingly enough, over almost 13 years of marriage, and through the addition of 5 children, I think we’re getting there.  I feel like having this song in the background of life has given us something to strive for through all of life’s changes.

And I think that it’s now true that we let each other know that we need each other through non-verbal cues.  And we live every day knowing leaving isn’t an option either of us entertain.  Through all of life’s ups and downs – job changes, financial problems and successes, parenting trials, welcoming and loving and raising children – we’ve been there to catch the other and build each other up through the years.

Won’t you share a picture of you two dancing? (Doesn’t have to be a wedding picture!)

I won’t.  I’m sorry.  I don’t have one.  I don’t have a picture I can access anywhere that is just Craig and Me.  We really need to fix that.

Monday Mumbles – 22


Yup, it’s Monday!  Time to Mumble!  Please join in if you like, use the button and go visit TOOJE and let her know you Mumbled.  It’s a great way to meet some other bloggers.  And TOOJE is one of my faves.  🙂
1.  I am writing these…like, WAY late on Sunday night.  Oh wait, it’s SO late, that it is technically, Monday morning.  Oy.
2.  KU got all the late start basketball games this weekend.  What happens with late KU games is…they wait until the final seconds of the game to win, and then I’m all wound up and can’t go to sleep.  So, I’m up until the wee hours of Monday morning instead of sleeping.
3.  BUT!  I am NOT complaining!  My Jayhawks are in the Sweet 16!!!  YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!
4.  Oh wait, I’m supposed to be mumbling, not cheering.  Ok, so sue me.  
5.  I finally buckled this weekend and got the spring/summer clothes out for the kiddos.  We have had two straight weeks of pretty warm weather (for March) and school even released their restriction on the shorts/skorts so the kids could wear them (usually they can’t until April).  So, i decided to get them out.  The girls were thrilled.
6.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow.  I will have a post up about the song Craig and I danced to at our wedding in our first dance as husband and wife.  Katie at NFP and Me is hosting a link-up for these posts!  What a fun idea!
7.  I had the first two days of the NCAA tournament off work.  Guess what?  I didn’t actually sit around and watch basketball all day like I thought I would.  I actually did things like meet a friend for lunch and then we spontaneously went and got pedicures!  fun!  And while I was getting my spontaneous pedicure, I got talked into a spontaneous eyebrow-threading.  I have never had my eyebrows threaded before.  Yes, it hurt.  But no more than a wax.  
8.  We took Vincent to his first St. Patrick’s Day parade.  It was a lot crowded because it was a Saturday and all.  But I think the kids all had fun.
9.  Dominic is a very sweet little boy.  And I should emphasize the word BOY.  He cracked me up in the car yesterday.  We were driving along and he says, “Mommy, you need to drive faster like the REAL Lightening McQueen…he would never drive as slow as you.”  Ha!  Take that Mr. Highway Patrolman!
10.  My girls have been asking to go to the pool.  It’s been that warm.  Yay for mild winters and warm springs!
Have a great Monday everyone!