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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Making it Through

I made it through another night. It seems these nights are lasting forever. I am so tired you would think I would sleep long and hard. Yet on the flip side the nausea, feeling extremely cold, jitters and fear of the monsters waking up, keep me awake. I finally fall asleep and the monsters come out to play in my head. I wake up in total terror with my face and head wet, thinking I must have been sleeping for hours. It's only been 20 flipping minutes.

I get up and walk around. I drink more water. I cool the sweat off with water from the sink. It isn’t long before I am freezing and covered in layers of blankets once again. I try to pretend that the uninvited thoughts are not poking at my brain. If the ugly thoughts are too loud I speak them out loud to my husband. I’ve promised him to tell him everything so that he knows what is going on with me.This seems to take their power away. He listens and confirms what I already know but yet I need to know somehow that this crazy ugly thought is just that, a crazy ugly thought. I pray. And I cry.

I cry out for just a moment of peace in all of this. I cry out because I hate being a burden and worrying my husband.

One of the most beautiful things in all of this is that this has brought us even closer. I didn’t think that was possible. He who is my monster slayer is my hero.

It’s like my heart and soul are unthawing after being numb.

My souls feelings have opened up like a flood. Somewhere along the way, of being on this medicine, I stopped crying. Except for when I pray. I’ve never told anyone this before, but most of the time, when I pray, I cry. I can’t help it. It’s been this way ever since I started praying.

I think I was born a cry baby…the kind that cries for people in general, but especially the hurting, children and the elderly. Part of my nature is to care deeply about people. Often times I am accused of caring too much. I used to cry over a commercial, just hearing a story, seeing something really beautiful, and always when seeing someone cry or hurt. That all changed when I was on this medicine and the thing is I didn’t even notice until my husband pointed it out to me.

I think I would rather cry then be numb.

My husband, my protector from the monsters, stands guard around me and is there instantly to help chase them away. Because I am still sleeping in the chair, he now sleeps in a chair next to me. Bless his beautiful soul. I tell him to sleep in the bed but he refuses. I know that he loves me and I know I would do the same for him. But, a part of me knows that he does this because he is afraid to leave me alone.

These cycles of sleeping, nightmares and sweating, horrible thoughts, crying and trying to go back to sleep continue through out the night. Early this morning little lady was woken by one of my nightmares. Guilt. She couldn’t go back to sleep and wanted to bring Franklin(our pet monster)to sleep by me so that he could keep my bad dreams away, like he does for her and her brother. Such pure sweetness.

Now she is just happy because it’s very early in the morning and it’s just her and I awake. She loves when she doesn’t have to share me. In fact, just last week, when her brother was talking about when he grows up and goes to college like his uncle JJ did, she announced that she was going to live with me for ever and ever and is excited for him to move to college so she could have me all to herself. Such cuteness that come out of her little mouth sometimes.These are the things I try to think about instead of dying.

I have dear friends who’s mother is most likely dying. She is a dear woman and so I cry out to God and bargain with him to take me instead. I know God doesn’t work this way. Yet, these thoughts of dying invade my mind frequently. I wish I could lie and say it isn’t so and even though these thoughts are not really mine, they scare me. I speak these thoughts out loud only to my husband. And now to you.

I did go to work yesterday. It was tough but it kept my mind out of the dark places some of the time. It is so much easier to care for someone else when they are going through tough times then it is myself. On my way to work, I listened to someone near and dear to me sob. It broke my heart to listen to her cry but it kept me on the road. Focusing on her kept me from focusing on the thought of driving into a semi.

I will go to work today. No I don’t want to leave my house and I feel like I have the flu but I will go because I must keep moving forward. I must keep moving through this blackness.

When I went through a really tough time after my attack, my brother gave me this magnet.


I am going through hell, and I will keep going until I am out of here. Thank you my dear brother.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a different doctor. I pray that he can help me. I keep saying, I just have to get through this day…this moment.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much your loving supportive comments touched me. They have carried me to this next day. Thank you. I read your comments once again in the middle of the night last night. I cried as I read them. I cried because you cared enough to take time for me. Thank you. Whether you meant to or not, each one of you remind me of God’s grace & love. Thank you.

Please know, how much your friendships mean to me. I miss settling in with my cup of coffee or tea at your place. I miss you making me smile & laugh & think. I miss the places you take me with your words. I miss seeing the pictures of those sweet little one’s in your life, whether they are human or animal. I miss seeing pictures of the beauty that surrounds you. I miss how much you welcome me into your homes, in this great community of blog land.

As this new day dawns, I miss you.

Love & hugs, Lori

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have fallen into a really dark place and am trying to make sense of what is going on inside me. If I don’t make sense at some point it is because my brain is not functioning very well.

About a month ago, while on a menopause support board, I read someone's comment about being on the same anti depressant that I’ve been on and how it had negatively affected them, besides major weight gain even though they hadn’t been eating more. It described me totally. So I followed over to this other board and was blown away by all the information. I read this to my husband and he said it described me to a T.

I read about side affects that I had been experiencing but doctors and pharmaceutical company’s don’t tell you about. I found out that I am not the only one that experienced feeling this way.

In reality this drug did nothing positive for me. I had to get off of it. 

After talking with my husband, I decided to go off this drug. I called my doctor and his nurse told me that I shouldn’t go off of it and that maybe I needed a higher dose or an additional medication. Oh hell no.The thing is I wasn’t even depressed when I was put on this by my doctor. He was concerned that living in pain was wearing on me. No shit. But, I surely didn’t need this.

I was warned that the withdrawals from this drug can be pretty bad and that it takes awhile to get through. I started the process of slowly weaning off of it right away and last Wednesday took my last pill. Holy crap.It’s been a trip through hell.

These are just some of the withdrawal symptoms they warned me about…

CYMBALTA Withdrawal Symptoms May Include:
aggression, anxiety, balance issues , blurred vision , brain zaps, concentration impairment, constipation, crying spells, depersonalization, diarrhea, dizziness. electric shock sensations, fatigue, flatulence, flu-like symptoms, hallucinations, hostility, highly emotional, indigestion, irritability, impaired speech, insomnia, jumpy nerves, lack of coordination, lethargy, migraine headaches / increased headaches, nausea, nervousness, over-reacting to situations, paranoia, repetitive thoughts or songs, sensory & sleep disturbances, severe internal restlessness, stomach cramps, tremors, tinnitus (ear ringing or buzzing), tingling sensations, troubling thoughts, visual hallucinations / illusions, vivid dreams, speech visual changes, worsened depression, thoughts of suicide

Ever so slowly, as I weaned off, I felt a little sick here and there. I took my last pill last Wednesday night. Last Thursday night I was up most of night with horrible nightmares, night sweats that were worse then the menopause kind, and it felt like I was starting to get the stomach flu. I woke up Friday morning and it was like I had taken a direct flight to hell.

 I’ve been experiencing all of those symptoms I listed above. I missed work on Friday and again today. This is like nothing I have ever experienced. I’ve been through drug treatment…doesn’t come close. I went through some pretty tough withdrawals when I was in the hospital going through a pain program and got off all the narcotics and other medicines the doctor had me on…and yet doesn’t come close to this.

 Can I just say that I think Cymbalta is one of the most horrible drugs ever invented?

I am so angry that I was put on this. I am angry that so many other people have experienced this same living hell and yet it continues to be on the market. Why don’t doctors listen when we tell them how we are feeling?

I’m scared. I feel guilty. I’m scared about missing work and guilty about letting down my friend. I am scared that this will come between us. I am scared that I’m not going to get through this. I am scared because I don’t want to leave  my home feeling like this. I don’t want anyone seeing me this way.

And yet, I feel so flipping lonely.

I keep saying I am sorry and I don’t even really know what I’m all sorry for.

I talked with a nurse today and she told me it takes a week for it to be out of my system and that once it is out of my system it will get worse for awhile. Worse?  And that how I’m feeling is perfectly normal for coming off of Cymbalta. She also told me I could go back on it. No flipping way. This crap is evil and you couldn’t pay me to ever try another.

Trying to function as a mommy while going through this has been horrible. Thank God for a husband that has been %100 supportive and taking over.  The little’s just think I’m in a lot of pain which is true I guess.

This is my life interrupted by a little pill and it’s absence.

Black is back. I feel black. I see black. My world has gone dark and I keep hanging on to see the light of day.

Please God, don’t let this darkness swallow me up. 

I just want to feel like me again. I want to feel human. I want out of this black hole. This is my attempt to try not to drown in it.

I am going to try to record this journey the best I can so that when it is done, I plan on writing some letters to the pharmaceutical company that makes this crap.

I write here only because my husband has encouraged me to do so. I think he’s afraid too. Even though writing this has taken me all day, I hope I have the courage to push publish.

I am sorry for being such a downer. I am sorry that I haven’t been by to visit you.

I am sorry.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Finding My Happy In Football

Thank God it’s finally Friday. Seriously, it’s been a week.

As if dealing with the behavior challenges in our home as of late wasn’t enough  the mother of the woman I am a PCA for had a stroke, so she came back from her month long trip, a good 3 weeks early. On the same day that  I found out that she was coming back home, I had to tell her that her almost 10 year old dog had died after a couple months of fighting cancer. This did not make me happy.

This meant I went back to work this week. This did not make the little’s happy in the least as they quite enjoyed our time at home last week. I was happy to see her and I am happy that I can be here for her. I am happy for the friendship she brings to my life.

Like I said, it’s Friday which of course means Happy Hour at Otin’s and RxBambi’s. And that means finding something to be happy about.


Time to find my happy

On the top of my list is knowing that some of the orphans in Haiti have went home to their families.How can knowing that a little child has been reunited with his/her new Mommy & Daddy, that has been waiting for him/her, not make you happy? Some have been waiting for over 2 years to be united. Talk about happiness!

As much as I still cry for those in Haiti, I am happy about the good, I have heard from people over there. I am happy that the angels that are the heart, feet and hands of God, keep on fighting for the lives of so many little one’s.

I am happy that when I wrote about my humanness in a post this week, not one of you judged me and instead showed me love & encouragement. Thank you.

If you don’t already know, I am from Minnesota and I love football. Which mean I love the Gophers & the Vikings.

I love football. And if you remember, this last fall, little lady fell in love with the game herself. And this makes me very happy!


We call Saturday’s Gopher Day. I am happy about their new outdoor stadium and hope we will get to a game next season.

We call Sunday’s or any day the Vikings play, Vikings day. Football day makes me happy period.


Playing football makes me happy. Before I got injured, my favorite thing to play was football. Even playing football in the snow is a blast. Nothing like playing tackle football in the snow, while it’s snowing. Just thinking about this makes me happy.

It’s suppose to snow this weekend…just maybe we will have to go play some football in the snow. That would make me happy.

Football & the Vikings make me happy.

So much so that we even play with a football with Vikings on it…

CIMG0057-1We actually have a Gopher football & a football from the high school that both my son’s played for and all my kids graduated from, also.

We make yummy food like hot wings, stuffed hot jalapeño poppers, hot red pepper & sundried tomato hummus, guacamole, fresh veggies, bloody Mary’s…ect. Just thinking about this food makes me happy.

Eating this yummy food makes me happy but making the food with my husband and the little’s for football Sunday makes me even happier.

Vikings day would not be complete for the little’s without cheeto’s. Just seeing their…


makes me happy.

Hearing them cheer makes me happy.

Of course it makes me happy when the Vikings win. But, I will admit that just watching a good football game makes me happy.

Good food & drink while watching football with people I love makes me happy.

When we beat the Cowboys last Sunday, I was very happy.

What am I saying? I was ecstatic!

I am happy that the Vikings are playing on Sunday.

I am happy that we get to cheer for another game! Look out New Orleans! Look out Sharper!


I hope that we win and make it to the Super Bowl. Now that would really make me happy.

On Wednesday, when we went to Goodwill, we found 2 kids Vikings Jerseys that are in great shape for $3. 99. I was so happy. Little lady was even happier…even though it’s purple and not pink.

I told her purple is better anyways.

Little man already has a jersey but little lady doesn’t. Last fall when little man picked his out with his birthday money, he was so happy. Little lady had a chance to buy a pink jersey with her birthday money but instead she insisted on princess pj’s. A week later, when little man put his jersey on for the Vikings first game, she cried. She wished she had gotten one.

At Christmas time, we tried to find one with some Christmas money she had. We tried to find one for her and my grandson, Aidyn. But, by this time all the stores are sold out.

So, finding the 2 Vikings jerseys the other day, made our day… Little lady spotted them first. She screamed “I see Vikings jerseys!” When I took them off the rack, she took them from me and hugged them and said “One for me and one for Aidyn!” Her joy made me so happy.

First thing yesterday morning, I mailed my grandson his jersey and paid extra so that he will get it in time for Sunday’s big game. It makes me happy that I was able to do this. I hope it makes him happy to get a special package from Grandma.

If you don’t know already, I am very excited about the games on Sunday.

I will be ecstatic if we win and make it to the Super Bowl but even if we don’t, I will still love my Vikings.

Have I told you how happy I am to watch my Vikings play football on Sunday against the Saints?

Minnesota Vikings Fight Song

Skol, Vikings!
Let's win this game.
Skol, Vikings!
Honor your name.

Go get that first down,
then get a touchdown.
Rock 'em... Sock 'em...
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Skol, Vikings!
Run out the score;
You'll hear us yell for more.
Skol, Vikings, let's go!

Look out Saints, here we come!

What are you happy about? Can you find your happy?

What would really make me happy, is each one of you finding your happy.

Cheers! Skol!


Happy weekend ya’ll!

Love & Hugs, Lori

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Confidence One Step At A Time

Right now, I am focusing on gaining more…CIMG0003-1

When I use the word “embrace” I mean to “take on” or “face” and in confidence stop running from those things I think are so much bigger then me.

Right now, I am gearing up to face that which seems bigger then me.

The whole situation with my step daughter and raising her children.

I am not going to walk on egg shells anymore. I am not going to stand silently to the side, and watch this bigger situation continual unfold and wreck havoc in our home. I am done biting my tongue.  I am not going to keep feeling sorry for her and falling for her manipulations.

I have watched the little’s suffer because of these kinds of visits for the last time. At least if I can help it anyways. They are still suffering…maybe not as bad as the past couple of weeks but the affects are still showing their ugly face. And I don’t think they are just going to disappear this time.

While we are still mending their hearts and spirits, she is gone doing whatever it is she does in Vegas.

This time, the lines were crossed over just a little too much. No, a lot too much.

We must stand up to the monster before she destroys these little one’s completely. We have to.

She fly’s in here and has been allowed way to much undeserved freedom with them, and then fly’s away again.

I am tired of being played. I am tired of being the one that’s kicked in the gut.

She causes a wreck and leaves while we clean up her mess…it’s almost like she gets enjoyment over it.

But, no more. We will be informing her this week that we are going back to short limited supervised visits, among a whole list of other conditions. She will lash out. She will pull out the victim card. The pity card. She will try to manipulate the rules we lay out. She will play all her cards and if they don’t work she might even have her cash daddy hire a lawyer to fight us for custody.

We can’t let that keep us from protecting these little one’s. We have cowered and walked on egg shells in order to not upset her and cause her to do the very thing we fear happening…just so we can keep giving the little’s what they so deserve…just because we want peace…just because she is my husbands daughter, and my step daughter.

And who wants to fight their own child?

Why does she keep refusing to do the simple things we ask her to do? Things that will make her life better and make it so she can parent? We aren’t asking for all that much but we are asking her to step up to the plate. Is that too much?

Ultimately, she would get her shit together, and become the mom she calls herself. And if she can’t that she would just leave us alone.

It’s getting to the point that we will not hand them back to her. It’s going on 3 1/2 years and how long should we do this before we say it would cause more damage to give them back?

Even though we have custody and the visitation is up to us, do you know how many rights birth mothers have? Even if they do unthinkable things? Even if we have been doing this for over 3 years?

Regardless, we will fight in court if it comes to that. We will fight with every dime we have. Even if it means we lose in the end, we will at least know that we fought hard. We’ve already spent a lot of pretty pennies just to get the custody but if we have to, we will spend the rest.

I will face this situation with confidence. Confidence in knowing we are doing the right thing. Confidence that this situation which seems so big, will not win. Confidence that no, we are not the bad guys. Confidence that these little one’s that look to us to protect them, will be protected.

How can I look at these two and not?


I will have confidence that this thing that seems so big right now, will not always seem so, and will one day be a thing of the past.

I am confident that I will rise to this challenge.

What would you like to be more confident about?

Love & Hugs, Lori


Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Always, but Sometimes…

I realize that on here a person can be who ever they want to be. We only have to reveal that which we feel safe in revealing. This means that the persona that someone portrays here, may not be the one they are out in the real world. I ask myself if who I portray to be here, on My life interrupted, is the real me?

For the most part, yes, this is the real me that you “see” here. This is my way of recording my life’s interruptions. But if I’m really honest there are parts of me I hold back. All for various reasons…my family and friends read this and there are things they don’t know about me…but for the most part, what it comes down to is this. I want to be liked and accepted and I don’t want you to think I’m crazy.

So sometimes, I am ashamed to tell you who I really am.

Because, not always but…

Sometimes, I don’t think you would like me if you knew everything there is to know about me.


Sometimes, I  want everything to stop.

Sometimes, I just want peace and quiet.

Sometimes, I still want to be invisible.

Sometimes I miss getting to do what I want and sometimes I want to be selfish.

Sometimes, I don’t recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror.

Sometimes, it feels like I am getting the life sucked out of me.

Sometimes, I want to scream, “What the hell?” when I see how some people act.

Sometimes, I don’t want to be responsible.

Sometimes, I swear.

Sometimes, I am don’t want to be a nice person.

Sometimes, I am a hypocrite, because I fail to walk the talk.

Sometimes, I care way too much.

Sometimes, I miss my older kids and grandchildren  so much that my heart physically hurts.

Sometimes, I cry when I pray.

Sometimes, I doubt what I know to be true.

Sometimes, what I have to say, would not make any sense to you because it barely makes sense to me.

Sometimes, I don’t want to stay straight and even after 25 years of being drug free still think about using once in a while.

Sometimes, getting someone to understand me, is too much work so I don’t even try.

Sometimes, when I watch the news, and hear about someone dying, I am jealous, and I don’t know why.

Sometimes, I am still afraid of my father and my brother.

Sometimes, I still let fear control my life.

Sometimes, I want to scream at the top of my lungs.

Sometimes, the things going through my mind, scare me.

Sometimes, I am tempted to tell all my secrets just so I don’t have to carry them all by myself.

Sometimes, I don’t want to tell you what I believe, because I fear you will judge me.

Sometimes, I still want to hide under my bed or in my closet.

Sometimes, I don’t know what I believe about God.

Sometimes, I really do believe I am a mistake and have to prove that I am not.

Sometimes, fear of rejection keeps me from being authentic.

Sometimes, in giving myself away, I forget to keep some for myself.

Sometimes, I don’t want to leave my house. And I don’t, for days.

Sometimes, even though I can give or take alcohol, I drink too much, on purpose, just to numb the pain.

Sometimes, I want to throw in the towel with my work comp. case and not go to my doctor appointments.

Sometimes, I look at my little people and wonder if what we are doing is really making a difference or if we are just fooling ourselves.

Not always, but sometimes…

Love & Hugs, Lori

Friday, January 15, 2010

Finding Happy in the Darkness


Otin & RxBambi are hosting Happy Hour Friday once again. Please come join us, as all are welcome.

In light of this weeks tragedy in Haiti, I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate in this weeks Happy Hour. In the shadows of all that heart ache and sadness, things in my life seem pretty trivial. And it’s hard to feel happy when so many are hurting. But, then last night, I read a couple of blogs written by people living in Haiti. Wow.

Nothing like getting a perspective of people whom are right smack in the middle of all of it. People that are so close to it that they smell death all around them. Yet they are embracing life and those that are alive, hurting and in need.

Even though I am still crying today…

I am happy for people like this young woman, Rhyan, who is caring for orphan children as I write this. I am happy that she is there standing in the gap and doing what she feels called to do. You can read her blog Somewhere Between Who I Was And Who You’re Making Me for yourself and see what a beautiful soul she is.

I am happy that in the midst of such tragedy, and even though she feels such grief herself, Rhyan is loving and caring for these little one’s.

I am happy for people like Troy & Tara who have lived in Haiti for over 4 years and have given their lives to serving and making a difference over there. I am happy they were able to get their young children out of there and to the US safely, to stay with their oldest daughter and her husband, so that they will better be able to serve the people of Haiti. I am happy for these self sacrificing people.  You can read their amazing story here on their blog, The Livesay Haiti Weblog.

I am happy for the wisdom and information that both of these blogs share so that we can be informed as to what we can actually do to help.

I am happy that something as simple as contacting our government representatives and asking them to encourage the Haitian government to release all the children that have already been adopted by families outside of the country, could help.

I didn’t  realize that there are children in these orphanages that were adopted 2 years ago and still await to be released out of Haiti to their families here in the US.  Letting these children go would make room for the newly orphaned children. Sad but true. It would make me so happy if these children could be united with their families. It would make me happy if these newly orphaned children would go to loving homes.

It would make me even happier if every orphan on this earth would have a loving home to go to.

I am happy to hear of so many willing to go help, to reach out or to give financially. This grand show of caring always makes me happy.

I am happy for people like my daughter who has one of the biggest hearts ever and is going to use her artistic talents to give to the people of Haiti. She is doing Art for a Cause at her blog, Unexpected Surprises. Please take the time to read her tender heart. Thank you.

It makes me happy to be reminded that there are a lot of wonderful people on this earth. Humanity is not lost.

It makes me happy that we don’t have to be rich to give of ourselves. It makes me happy that every little bit that each one of us gives, makes a big difference.

I am happy that even though I am so far removed from Haiti, I can stand in the gap in prayer. I am happy that I have the freedom to share that I believe in the power of prayer.

Last but not least, I am happy that I can participate in Happy Hour even in this dark hour.

Today, hug your loved ones a little bit tighter, even if you’re only able to do this in your heart. 

Hold those little one’s in your arm’s and be grateful that your arms aren’t empty.

If you have people in your life that you love, tell them today.

Please take time to pause and be grateful for all that you have and share that gratefulness with at least one person today.

Thank you. Thank you Otin and RxBambi for giving me this opportunity to find happy even in the dark times such as these.

Here’s to Rhyan, Troy and Tara and the many other’s that are in Haiti. This Happy Hour post is dedicated to them.

Love & Hugs, Lori

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Just as some people go to the Chiropractor for a back or neck adjustment,  I have been in need of an attitude adjustment.

Why do I so easily slip into pity party mode? Why do I not always see the blessings I am surrounded by? How is it that I know I have so much to be grateful for but then can get so focused on the things that aren’t perfect or wrong?

And why is it, that the first thing I do when I’m feeling this way, is retreat from people and the world and hide?

Now that I don’t have work for a month, I have to literally make myself leave my house or make contact with other people. Ugh.

Along with my search for a “fix” that could correct or adjust my attitude, I decided to take my first step of faith in my confidence building  course for 2010, and do something I’ve wanted to do but have let fear keep me from doing.

Find and volunteer at a homeless shelter.

I share with you this, not to toot my own horn and not because I want you to pat me on the back or say I’m great or think I am so much better. If you know me at all you know I hate tooting my own horn. I would think you would know that I definitely  don’t think of myself as being better then anyone.

Last week I made calls to 2 different homeless shelters in a town much bigger then ours and about 45 miles away. One being a men’s only shelter, I was told are in sore need of men’s clothing and warm outer wear since it is here in Minnesota. The other is a family shelter and takes men’s, women’s and children's clothing, household items, furniture and pretty much anything. In talking to both, I found out they both need volunteers to serve meals, prepare meals and various other things.

Yesterday, my husband and I took our first van full and dropped off the women’s and children's items. We were dismayed at the condition of this thrift store. As we walked around and looked we were shocked  at what poor condition many of the items were in. This place was packed full of junk. Many of the clothes were ripped, torn, and stained. We sensed the frustration of the man running this part of the shelter. We over heard him talking to some volunteers about having junk dropped off and how he is suppose to figure out what to do with it. I watched volunteers going through things, digging for items that had worth in being reused.

Seeing all of this, cemented, why I will not give away anything that is ripped, torn or stained. I have a hard time donating something that I consider ugly let alone a shirt with the buttons missing or stained up. Do people really not think about the condition of what they donate? Seeing this, kind of pissed me off, that people would dump their junk on a shelter as if the worth of homeless people is somehow less then themselves.

If you donate clothing or shoes or anything for that matter, please don’t give away things that are in poor condition.  

We took all the men’s clothing to the men’s only shelter and while we were waiting for someone to get us applications for volunteering, I watched as a woman volunteer opened the bags and men gathered around her. Watching their faces light up over the clothing they were given made me almost start crying right then and there. Within 5 minutes of us walking in the door, the clothing was handed out! No wonder I was told they were in sore need of men’s clothing.

This place was pretty old and run down  and a couple of guys were doing some remodeling type of work on one part of the room. As I looked around this big old room, what stuck out to me was the smiles on their faces. They were just happy to have a place to be…a place to be with other people, like them, that have nothing and no where to go. A warm place to sit.  A place to eat and sleep. And watching them gather around these bags of clothes almost felt surreal.

I will not lie. I felt uncomfortable. I felt sad. I didn’t really know what to say.

The volunteer that talked to us, was a gentlemen that I am guessing is in his late 40’s and I am pretty sure he was mentally “slow”.  It was his attitude. He stood there in his worn out clothes, with such a smile on his face. And he looked me in the eyes.  He told me with such honesty and simplicity that ever since he started volunteering at the shelter, that he was no longer depressed and lonely. That he loved coming there and that he used to think that he didn’t have anything to offer anyone. But now he does. He also told me that he hopes I come back and that maybe I will get to work with him. How beautiful is that?

I wanted to lay on the floor and cry. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to thank him for adjusting my poor attitude as of late.

My encounter with this man, while watching our clothes be distributed, was only over a 5-10 minutes time frame, if even that. It was surreal. It’s because of these things that I share this story with you. This encounter shook the pity party attitude right out of me.

I was adjusted in a homeless shelter.

Here I’ve been feeling sorry for myself and trying to avoid people and here are people starving for food, company and love. Here are people that have nothing and here I am with so much. But for the grace of God, that could be me. Or one of my loved ones.

After our visits to the shelters we went grocery shopping and then after picking up the little’s from daycare, we all worked at putting everything away. Once again, attitude adjustment. The little’s happy exclamations over how lucky we are to have all this good food puts me in my place. How happy they are just to be home and that they feel so important to help.

The little’s had helped and watched us go through clothing and various items over the weekend and knew we were taking these things to a shelter. When little lady would cry about giving away some baby book she hasn’t read since she was a baby we would talk about those that have nothing. Literally.

We talked about our experience at the shelters and how happy they were to have our clothes and books. As I listened to the little’s pray last night for these homeless people, my gratefulness for all we have grew and grew.

These homeless people are someone’s son, or daughter, or sister or brother or mother or father. No matter how they got to this point of being homeless, they are people. They are people that hunger for food, and love just like you and I do. They are people that have worth and value just as you and me but most of them don’t know it.

When little man told me that Jesus loves the homeless people and that we should too…talk about an adjustment.

When little lady came to me later with a book from her book shelf and said “Mommy we can give this book to a little girl that doesn’t have any books.” I was slapped with another adjustment.

Here we are in a warm house. In a warm house this filled with “stuff” and surrounded by love. We don’t give a single worry whether we will have food to eat on any single day. As I wash our clothes today and clean our bathrooms I will be thankful to have these things to clean.

We who are so full of abundance, don’t have a clue to what it would be like to beg or to sign into a shelter for a night at a time.

I did talk to another volunteer and was told that one of the biggest needs is warm socks. I was told that they suggest to people to stick a couple pairs of socks in your coat pocket and that when you encounter a homeless person to give them socks. That it’s just as valuable as money. Just an idea.

In light of the devastation in Haiti at this time, I am humbled. Hearing my daughter tell me that her coworker didn’t know if her family was dead or alive yesterday, stung me deep inside my soul. I cannot imagine the terror should that be my loved ones. Hearing that they are alive brought joy, yet knowing of all those that aren’t is heart breaking. Hearing what a famous TV evangelist said about this horrible tragedy sickens me. Some people think that if you are a believer that you think just like him. NOT. How it must break God’s heart to hear his people say such ignorant things.

In light of all these things, my “stuff” that I worry about or get caught up in, are so minor and small. I’m ashamed. I am humbled. I am grateful.

Next week we will go back with more men’s clothes since I have already had people contact me with having clothes to donate. I talked to someone this morning that is willing to donate a whole bunch of farm raised beef for making pots of stew, soups and sandwiches. Amazing!

I would be lying if I said that I am not scared to be stepping out of my comfort zone. But, I have two little people that are spurring me on with their innocent faith and a husband that is very excited to do some cooking with me. I am excited about this confidence training set before me. I am excited to hear about other people that are stepping out and doing some of the same, in their own parts of the country.

There’s a whole lot of good in our world. Lots of the time it’s staring me in the face and yet I miss it. There is nothing like an attitude adjustment to see more clearly.

I am confident that I will keep my eye’s wide open so that I can see what I need to see…that I will keep my ear’s open so that I will hear…that I will keep my mind open so that I will think on these good things…that I will keep my heart and arms wide open so that I will receive and accept whoever comes my way. I am confident that I will go where I am suppose to go…be where I’m suppose to be right now. I am confident that I won’t let fear stand in my way.

Love & Hugs, Lori




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Normal is Good

Life is settling down at our house,after the latest interruption. (Breathing a big sigh of relief.) The baby talk and the lashing out are almost gone. I’m not the bad guy after all. We can dress ourselves once again. We know how to play on our own once again. There has not been one potty accident. No more nightmares. We have remembered our manners and that the rules of this house still stand, even if we’re sad or mad.

Still, the after math of evils visit leaves it’s lingering affects. Little lady still clings to me in an insecure way. Needs constant reassurance that when I leave her, I will always come back. She wants me to hold her ALL of the time. Sometimes it’s suffocating. When she forgets about it, she is just fine and plays happily. Little man still tests me with his words yet he almost seems even more bonded with me then he was before evils visit. He continues to share things that went on during this visit. I just listen.  I keep breathing through everything he says. And I pray.

I will not lie. The mother bear in me wants to claw it’s way out and freak the hell out. I want to scream and swear at this person who causes such heart ache in our lives. I want to jump up and down and scream that this is fricken unfair and please get your fricken shit together already or leave us the hell alone. I think you already know that I don’t do this.

To those of you that don’t know the whole story. We do have full custody of the little’s but she(their birth mother, my husband’s daughter)has rights to come see them. Visitation has been left up to our digression. Believe me, her father and I will not allow another visit like this until she shows much further improvement. Still, just her coming for supervised visits causes pain and havoc in our home.

So yeah, I just keep praying that they will know how loved they are and that some how this will be enough…that our loving them…that our making an environment that is safe and secure will help them feel so…that our raising them will be enough. Even though they seem happy here with us, I still pray that the affects of life’s trauma’s will not hinder them from living the lives they so deserve. We will fight for them through every storm that blows through and stand strong against evil.

I wonder if this month off of work is a gift in disguise as it will give us time to work through these things? Since we have to still pay for daycare, they will still go there occasionally. They will go today, so I have been preparing them, after having 4 days with me. Little lady cries when we talk about it. I remind her of the fun she will have with her friends but of course she thinks she only wants to be with me forever and ever.  Little man doesn’t want me to go but he tells me and his sister that he knows I always come back. I pray to God that he truly knows that I will always come back. We talk about what we will do after I do come back and pick them up in hopes that this will cement in them security of my return.

Evil leaves and our lives go on.

We finally got Christmas down at our house this past weekend. (Breathing another big sigh of relief.) I was bound and determined. Even with hearing from a  tearful 3 year old  that “poor Jesus, Mary and Joseph were going to starve laying in a box until next year”. Apparently, she had enjoyed feeding them every day with her little Christmas porcelain tea set. Even with much begging from the little's to “keep the tree with it’s beautiful lights up for one more night”. Apparently, the floor full of needles wasn’t  bothersome to little man who quite enjoyed his job of having to clean them up each day with his little sweeper.

Yes, I am quite happy to have Christmas done and a thing of the past. Between that and evils visit, I am breathing big sighs of relief and very happy to get on to normal life. I love normal life. Normal is good.Even more, I love when that normal life lacks drama. I know, I’m boring. And I like boring.

Love & Hugs, Lori

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Confidence in 2010

In 2009, I brought in “resiliency” and then laid claims to “courage”. How remarkable of a journey it has been. Even though I have come a long ways I am still learning these and will continue to do so in 2010.

I’ve given lots of thought to what word I want to lay claim to for 2010.  I’ve asked “What do I want to learn in 2010?” And “What hinders me from reaching the places I want to go?” What I keep coming back to is confidence. I need and want confidence because it is something that I lack.

If I’m really honest, I would have to say that my soul hungers to feel confident.

Confident in my skin, in my mind, and in my soul.

Confidence speaks of believing. It says “I can.” It say’s “I believe that I can do this or that.”

I see confident people and I say to myself, “ I want what they have.” I am jealous.  This is how I want to be.

I looked up the definition of confidence. This is what I found…Confidence: full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing:belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance

I also found this… Self confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality — the more self confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed.

I want to feel unstoppable. I don’t want to let fear stop me from doing those things I want to do. Over this year of 2010 I want…

paper that say I believe-2

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson


The things we hate about ourselves aren’t more real then the thing we like about ourselves. Ellen Goodman


It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. Edmond Hillary


The way to to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear. William Jennings Bryan

cat having courage-1

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. Thomas Edison


Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. Henry Ford

CIMG0016-1Only as high as I reach can I grow.  Only as far as I seek can I go.  Only as deep as I look can I see. Only as much as I dream can I be. Karen Ravn 


Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

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How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it. Robert Brault


If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. Mahatma Gandhi


God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily. author unknown


How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it. Robert Brault


People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross



You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. Rosalynn Carter


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.     Eleanor Roosevelt


I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down.  Allen H. Neuharth

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Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.     Stan Smith


I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.
Anna Freud


If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  Vincent Van Gogh


It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. Author Unknown

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We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemiesRoderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive


Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.  Wendy Wasserstein


Here I am standing before you, God and the universe, proclaiming that 2010 is my year to learn confidence.

I know it will not be easy. I know I have a lot to learn. I know that it means taking risks and doing things I’ve been too afraid to do. It means walking the talk. It means taking things from my head and putting them into action. It means I might make some mistakes. It could mean looking or sounding foolish or stupid.  It means not everyone will understand or even like it. Most of all it means facing the biggest obstacle, which is me.

My desire is to get to the end of 2010 confident in who I am, confident about the journey I’ve been on and confident that I am exactly where I’m suppose to be.

It starts with believing.

“I am confident!”

What word would you claim for 2010?

What would you like to learn this year? 

Where would you like to see yourself at the end of 2010?

Love & Hugs, Lori


Friday, January 8, 2010

Time To Find My Happy

Thank God it’s Friday and time for…


Happy Hour Friday was recreated by the great minds of Otin & RxBambi.

I am still dealing with the nasty after taste of the latest shit sandwich, so this may be difficult. I have been known to smile while holding a shit sandwich in my hands but this week, not so much.

Maybe I should just pour myself a vodka tonic and call it a day? Or not? Not. 

I have crawled out from under my rock to find my happy. I think this is what the good doctor would order. Here’s to putting on my big girl panties and finding my happy…

I am happy…

…that I got an early morning phone call from this guy(my 20 year old son)that lives in Florida, just to say he loves me. And no he wasn’t asking for anything. This made my day.

Jason and I cropped

…that this guy(my eldest son), who is laid off for the winter is so willing to care for the little’s when ever we need him to fill in. I am also happy that every once in awhile he stays after I get home and drinks a couple glasses of wine with me. I am happy that even though his friends give him shit for these things, he is not embarrassed to hang out with his mom and take care of 2 little people that adore him.

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I am happy for my cell phone and computer that keeps me in contact with my sweet adorable granddaughter from Florida…


I am happy that she does so well in school and that she has parents that care so much about her. I am happy that I get to be her grandma.

And of course with her mom(my eldest) and my son-in-law too. I am happy that she is a teacher and cares so much about the children she teaches. I am happy she is married to such a great guy.


And my daughter and her boyfriend in Idaho. I am happy that she is pursuing her dreams and having a fun time while doing it. I am happy that she found someone to enjoy these adventures with .


I am happy that her adventures lead her to snowboard in the mountains and to beautiful places like this…


And this…


I am happy to see video’s like this , of my grandson that lives in Florida. Just seeing this makes me smile. I am so happy to be his grandma.

I am happy that this wonderful daughter of mine is his mother…


I am happy that she has been discovering herself and all her many talents & gifts. I am happy that she got to be home recently, even if it was too short.

I am happy that I don’t have to be outside working in these below 0 temperatures.

I am happy that our vehicles have started every day in the cold.

I am happy that it is suppose to make it to double digits come Sunday! Yippy!

I am happy that the friend I am a PCA for is finally getting to take a vacation. Her brother is taking her on a month long get away which they left for today. Even though I will miss her and that this means I will not have income for a month, I am still very happy for what this trip will do for her and her spirits.

I am happy that my husband supports me in doing as little as possible today, since I am off of work and at home with the little’s. Which of course means I won’t just be doing nothing but it does mean I have given myself a free pass to not “see”  the “what could/should be done but can wait until tomorrow, when maybe I’m not so exhausted” kinds of things. And not feel guilty about it.

I am happy that the little’s are doing much better and that our home is finding it’s way back to normal living. I am happy they are starting to cling less, and are acting like the secure happy little people I know them to be. I am happy they are finding their happy once again.

Jordan and Nevaeh cropped 

I am happy for the grace that heals and teaches me lessons so that I can pull myself back up, brush myself off and continue to move forward in this life.

I am happy because courage and resiliency (the words I claimed for ‘09) seen me through 2009 and into 2010. I am happy that because of courage and my resiliency, I am not kept down and I always choose to get back up.

I am happy that even though times look or seem really tough, I know we will get through.

I am happy and thankful for all the support YOU each gave me this past week in regards to my last post.  Seriously, YOU made all the difference.

I am happy that I chose to participate in Happy Hour Friday so that I could find my happy.

I found it! I found my happy.

Thank you Otin and RxBambi! This is one happy hour I needed to attend. Here’s to the 2 of you and all those that participate in finding their happy.



Cheers to all of you that choose to find your happy even when it’s hard to find or your just not feeling it.

I hope you find your happy today.

Happy Friday. Hope you have a good weekend and that you and yours stay warm in this cold that seems to be hitting a lot of us.

Love & Hugs, Lori