In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Man of Honor

In 3 days my brother  is getting married.jason and i cropped

When we were young, we drove each other crazy. I might have even hated him a little.Then, somewhere along the way, we became best friends.

We grew up.

I named my son after him.


He has been the bestest uncle and great uncle in the whole world!  Just to show you how much he means to our family …..ALL of my children are flying home for his wedding this weekend! 

jason, brit and I cropped



 Copy (3) of 149

Jason, Jennessa, Brian and lori 


He is more than amazing.

When I was making wrong choices in my life, he didn’t turn his back on me. When I was wounded he helped me find healing. He took me in…he made his home, mine.  He didn’t judge me. He treated me like I still had worth.

He never stopped believing in me…even at my worst. He believed in all that I could be. He believed in me until I could believe in myself.

When I had lost myself, he helped me to find my way to “me”.  When I was broken, he didn’t try to fix me because he didn’t see me as broken.  When I was without hope he helped me find it. When I was scared he made me feel safe. He gave me courage to face my demons and helped me to not run away.

When I couldn’t love myself he taught me how to do this by loving me unconditionally.

He was and still is “my Jesus with skin on”.

Without him, I wouldn’t be here.

This noble man of character taught me what a real man is. He showed me what a man of honor looks like. He taught me what to look for in a man. He believed that I was worthy of a man like this. And then when I found one, and  fell in love with him, he approved, so I married him. He stood by my side, as my “man honor”.Gerry and Lori's wedding

And then he met her…a noble woman…


…and fell in love.

It didn’t take long for me to love her too. She is amazing…just like him. In 3 days, she will officially be my sister.


I am so happy that he has found the love of his life. I am so thankful that he didn’t give up looking for her. I am so glad that she said “yes”.

Here’s to you Jason…

Here’s to all the great times…the fun times….for rocking out full blast with me to our favorite group while driving in the car…for always making me laugh…to all our fun times with “Jack”.


Here’s to surviving hell and back. Here’s to always getting back up after falling down. Here’s to always finding the rainbow after the storm. Here’s to never losing hope in finding “the one”. Here’s to living a life of being real and true to yourself. Here’s to keeping your head up no matter what comes.


Here’s to you, Jason, a real man of honor…for teaching me…without you, I wouldn’t have found my own man of honor to marry. Thank you for honoring my life with your presence. You are the best!

Here’s to you, Patty…welcome to our family. We are honored to have you.

I love you Jason and Patty.

XXXOOO    Lori

PS I can hardly wait until your special day!!! Woot! Woot!

PSS  Of course I am extremely excited that ALL my children will be home at the same time…even if it’s just for a few days. Thanks for getting married so they had a reason to come home!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Recent conversations with little man…

“I’m different from you guys.”

“What do you mean by different?”

“My skin is brown and you guys have white skin.”

“Yes, we have different colors of skin.”


“When I get bigger will I have white skin?”

“No, you will always have brown skin and your brown skin is beautiful and we wouldn’t want to change that about you.”


“Is white skin better then brown skin?”

“No, of course it’s not. Neither is better then the other. Both are beautiful. Just like all the other colors of skin. Why are you asking me this?”

“Because everyone in my family has white skin.”


“I’m the only one at daycare and school that have brown skin. Everybody has white skin but not me.”

“Yes, that’s true, in our town there aren’t really many brown skinned people like you. But do you remember when I used to work at the school in this neighboring town and there were students with brown skin like you?”

“Oh yeah, I remember!”


“How come I have brown skin and she(pointing at his little sister)doesn’t?”

“Because each of you were made by two different fathers.”


Having these conversations, causes me to question where we live. As much as I love living in our small rural community, it may not be the best place for us to be raising little man. I know that we will not always be able to protect him from racism or from feeling different. But, I do wonder if moving to a more diverse community would be better for all of us. This is something we may have to consider.

I’m not sure what sparked his curiosity and his questioning. I am glad that he has talked to me and that I have been here to listen. Included in these conversations has been much talk about  differences in people…from the color of skin to colors of eyes and hair…from short and tall and big and small.

We have talked about heritage and various ethnic backgrounds.

We’ve talked about how important it is to love who we are. That each of us was created special and unique. We have talked about being happy in our own skin no matter what anyone else says…to not be ashamed or embarrassed of what we look like.

We’ve talked about who we each are underneath our skin…about all the things inside of us, like loving, caring, kindness and sharing, that make hearts beautiful. And all the things that make us individuals that are different, like favorite colors or foods we like to eat.

We have talked about how it’s a good thing that each of us are different and to celebrate these differences. I knew there would come a day that he started to take notice of the color of his skin. That he would notice that his skin is different from his own sister…from those in his family and community. I just didn’t know it would be so soon.

It hasn’t been easy coming up with answers to little mans questions…especially with his 3 year old little sister soaking up every word. It can be complicated trying to explain in ways that his 4 year old mind and her 3 year old mind can comprehend.

He is a sharp little boy that is always thinking…so much so that I have to practically run to keep ahead of him. For right now, my answers are good enough but will they always be? I fear not. For now, he listens to me and believes what I say but I fear the day he doesn’t. I pray I have the answers as his questions get harder.

I know these conversations are important but more important is that I model what I am trying to teach them. I will teach them nothing if I don’t walk the talk. If I am not happy in my own skin how can I possibly teach him to be?

I want him to be happy in his own skin. I want him to embrace all of his differences, not just the color of his skin but all those things that show the beautiful color of his heart. These are the things I want for him, and little lady.  These are the things I want for all of us.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
Audre Lorde

“Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences, our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them.”
Judith Henderson

Do you recognize and embrace your differences?  Are you happy in your own skin?




Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sleepless in Minnesota

I now know why I have been in so much pain…nope it’s not all in my head. I found out that I have at least 3 things wrong with my shoulder. I am waiting to have another MRI with dye injected into me and to meet with an orthopedic surgeon for my shoulder, since the only way to fix it is with surgery. This does not have anything to do with my neck injury. I do NOT have insurance because we cannot afford it. And no we don’t qualify for help because even though our income qualifies we have too many assets. Assets that my husband had before he ever met me. Yes, I know that our savings will be depleted plus more. But, I know somehow we will be fine.

I also await an MRI for my neck and multiple procedures to burn the nerves in my neck once again. They make small incisions and go inside and burn the nerve endings.(I have had this done multiple times.)Not to mention seeing other specialists in regards to all of this and trying a new medication. And more therapy. This means jumping through more hoops for workers comp. If you have ever dealt with them then you know they are a poop on the party of wanting to get better. They suck. They have been a thorn in my side for 7 years now. I could understand if there was a dispute over the actually injury but there’s not.

It’s a waiting game….for approvals and for these doctors to have openings in their schedules. And until then, I am sleepless in Minnesota…due to pain and not being able to lay down flat on a bed, I have taken up residence in the recliner in the living room. When I was actually getting sleep at night it seemed that there were never enough hours at night. Now that I’m not sleeping it seems that there are too many hours in the night and daylight cannot come soon enough. Go figure.

Things I’ve come to realize during my sleepless nights…

There really is nothing on TV during the night. I have watched way too many infomercials and have come way too close to buying exercise programs and gadgets…Like the Ab Circle, Slim in 6, Core Rhythms, ChaLEAN Extreme, and don’t forget about the Abtronic Ab Exerciser that all you have to do is wear it around your stomach and it does the work for you. Really? I am starting to see how desperate people can succumb to perfect looking people selling them something that is going to fix all of their problems. All for a bargain of course. And free shipping.

Desperate, sleep deprived people like me…which really is ridiculous since I wouldn’t be able to use them anyways…which ends up irritating the crap out of me because I really, really miss working out and it’s starting to show on me. (Big sigh) Watching skinny women with fairly large breasts and hard bodies, telling me how I can look like them, if in fact, I would buy what they are selling, makes me want to pinch someone…well someone skinny with fake breasts anyways.

…there is the Swivel Sweeper and some other vacuum that I can’t think of the name of right now but it sure does amazing things. And then there is this ultimate chopper thing that chops all of your vegetables in less then a minute. Not that I believe all the hype but seeing these things sure makes me miss cooking and cleaning. I’m not kidding. Not being able to let out the domestic goddess in me is driving me crazy…and you might have guessed, irritates me.

I’ve learned it’s not good for me to watch the news channels because all it does is either upset, make me scared or more confused. Seriously, how did some of these people get hired? Do you think they know how irritating they sound? But, we do live in the land of free speech don't we?

Watching the weather predictions on various channels only irritates the hell out of me because how can they vary that much?!

Watching cooking shows only makes me hungry and even more irritated over the menopausal weight gain as of late. The kind of irritation that makes me want to eat ice cream with lots of hot caramel and nuts on top of a hot fudge brownie. And I don’t even like sweets all that much. And I'm not eating that much to begin with. I'm not. But, you would never ever know that. Do I have to go back to starving myself? Hell, I like eating too much. Forget the fact that in one month I am the "best lady" in my brothers wedding and need to fit into my dress.

Watching the home renovation shows can be interesting and give great idea’s. But, seriously, some of the colors they use and things they do are out right ugly. To me, anyways. What really irritates me with these shows is watching people in nice clothes on, that look like their ready for a date, painting and doing home renovations. I understand they are on TV and all but they could be a little more realistic. Just sayin.

Are you sensing the irritation?

My house makes weird noises at night. Irritating noises. Like a dripping faucet. Or a running toilet.

Not only does my husband talk in his sleep(of course I already knew that) but so does little man and little lady. Little man on occasion walks in his sleep. Freaks the hell out of me when out of nowhere he is standing right next to me in the dark of the night.

Right now we have so many acorns falling on to the roof,(we have lots of big tree’s)that it sounds like it is raining or hailing. This gets really annoying when I have had the good fortune of actually falling asleep for a moment and I’m woken up by a sudden surge of acorns falling. We also have a couple of squirrels that are either fighting it out at night or making babies. The fact that we have neighbors keeps me from screaming out the window at them. I don’t know what irritates me more, the falling acorns or the fact that the squirrels might be having sex and I'm not.

We live near both the hospital and ambulance garage so we hear everything that happens. Since we live in a small rural town you wouldn’t think they would keep as busy as they do. I never realized until now, how often their sirens are going off. Every night. Multiple times. Irritating yes, but sad.

It’s amazing what you hear when you aren’t sleeping with the roar of the fan drowning out the noises that fills your home. What’s even more amazing is that a bomb could go off and my husband would sleep through it. At least someone is sleeping.

I’m not sleeping but I am icing my neck and shoulder through out the night. Ice packs do not stay cold long enough. I have been thinking that I should invent an icepack that stays cold.

I think WAY too much at night. About everything and anything. And very random. Ugh. Combine that with the deliriousness that comes with being sleep deprived, being in pain and the stress that all of this has brought. And let’s don’t forget about the noisy elephant sitting in the corner, that will not shut up…I think his name is menopause and does nothing for rational thinking. NOT. A. Good. Thing. I should keep these thoughts to myself. Last night, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and as I was going through the numbers on my cell phone, I realized that it was in fact the middle of the night. My husband needs to hide my phone from me at night.

Kind of like drunk dialing except I’m not drunk and I don’t even have the excuse of pain meds since I gave up on them. They did nothing for the pain but everything to keep me hugging the porcelain goddess.

Such is life when you are sleepless in Minnesota...telling your woes to people that are miles away, in the form of a post. What’s your favorite infomercial? What do you do when you can’t sleep? Entertain me with your suggestions or tales of your own sleepless nights.

Once again, thanks for listening. Hugs and love, Lori