Friends...

My weight loss goal!

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring is here!
































































































Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...


Wordful Wednesday ~ Frog legs???

Welcome to Wordful Wednesday,
as hosted by Angie @ Seven Clown Circus!



Sometimes, I wonder how in the world he can put his body in such positions! He loves to lay down on the floor like this and do the army crawl. I wonder, too, does he look more like a dog... or more like a frog? LOL! :-)




Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

She knocked on my window.

I was so engrossed in my work that I didn't even see her standing outside until I heard her bang on my window. LOL!


I love my little Romanian friend (and her sister and her parents :-)). While I was holding her, she started to tell me a story about one of her friends who was older. Older, like me, she said. Then, she said that her friend was 9 years old. Hmmm... 9 years old... like me? Nice. So, I asked her how old I was, and she said 11. Ha! I wish! She also said that you must be 11 in order to get married. Oh my goodness, she brings me joy! Such a nice 5-minute break in my day.



I love her crazy spirit, and her great big hugs! Such energy! I wish I had some... energy, and little Romanian girls like her. ;-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Tuesday Tidbits

Steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast. Very filling! Yum! Never mind the pure maple syrup and walnuts I put on top. Mere extra calories. ;-) I am, however, measuring how much I put on so I can count my calories.

***
I have lost 2.4 pounds, and D.T. has lost 4.8. Cool. Double. :-)

***
On Saturday, we took a little road trip to the nearest Apple store to get a case for D.T.'s new iPhone. I already showed you the yummy lunch we had while we passed through that town. Then, on Sunday, we officially became an iPhone family. He was very excited! :-) It was funny because, after church, we were driving home, and he got in the turning lane to go right. I asked him where he was going, and he said, AT&T. I said, oops, I forgot about that. Then, he said, you would. You've already got your iPhone. Heehee! I am very happy that he has his phone now, too. :-)

***
I am pursuing a different work opportunity right now, and I am really praying it will come to fruition. If it is where God wants me, that is. I know it is where I want me. That's not what counts, though, in my book.

***
A God-thing happened this last Sunday. You know, something only God could have orchestrated. A new couple came to our Sunday School class. Actually, I think they came last week, too, but we weren't there last week. Anywho... we got to talking about the counseling degree I am pursuing right now, and... did I mention that he has a PhD in counseling? Did I mention he is the associate dean for our counseling program? So, he offered me some guidance, and I have an appointment with him today to discuss what I want to do and how to get there. I am very excited to see the direction God takes me! Changes... and worlds of opportunity may be on my horizon! :-)

***
Our home needs some serious cleaning right now! There just isn't enough time in the day to work, clean, and focus on losing weight. Oh, well. We'll just keep pluggin' along! :-) My new iPhone is helping me count my steps throughout the day. Yesterday, I walked 2,244 steps. Not an outrageous number, I know, but every little bit helps. Right? At least, it is getting me moving.

***
Hey, any other iPhone buddies out there? Got a free app you'd like to recommend to me or D.T.? :-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Friday, March 26, 2010

The status quo.

What my life feels like right now. What I fear it will feel like forever. I remember sitting in our group for my counseling class a few weeks ago, and the professor passed through just observing. Except that when I spoke up, he saw fit to interject a bit. Now, you know me. I don't mind sharing pretty much anything, but I was a bit uncomfortable with the direction he took the conversation. Unlike the book that I recently won and am now reading, I felt very invalidated by his comments. Note to self: don't do that to someone when you are a counselor. You see, a person's feelings are just that. Feelings. They aren't wrong or right until you take action on them. The professor asked me if I really thought my life would be perfect if I finally had children, and I felt like he was questioning my right to feel that way, if in fact I did. Which, by the way, I don't. You see, there had been two other questions posed earlier in the session, and the professor had heard my responses. The questions were: What is going well in your life right now? What is not going well? My answer was: My marriage is going very well, and everything else is pretty much falling apart. Then, of course, there was more conversation and elaborating on what I had said and why. You see, I am very grateful for my marriage and the wonderful man God brought to me. It is the one solid thing (other than God) that I can count on day in and day out. It is just that everything else in my life seems to center around this process of qualifying and then waiting to be chosen to be the parents of a baby. My world seems to revolve around it and then come to a screeching halt on the decision of when or even whether it will ever happen. There are certainly a lot of reasons that I can feel a certain way about this whole issue on any particular day. However, the fact remains. I feel the way I do, regardless of the reason. Lately, I've just felt incredibly negative about the possibility that this dream will ever come to fruition. Yesterday, I actually wrote an entire post about the way I felt and then proceeded to delete it. I didn't want to say the things I was feeling and dishonor God. I want to do the right things. I want to feel the right way. I want to be the right person. Let's just be honest, though. I'm not, and you know what? You're probably not either. After all, we're all fallen. Fallen people living in a fallen world, surrounded and touched by fallen circumstances. Maybe that's why I really don't think this will ever happen. Because the fallen nature of life will keep it from happening. Yes, I know God is sovereign. I know He can move mountains, but I'm just not sure that He will. I am struggling so much right now with my thoughts and unbelief. I have the promises. I have the scripture. I'm just not sure I believe it. I'm not so good at this faith thing. You know, the being confident in what I cannot see thing.

I think it is always easier after the fact to think of what you should have said when someone asked you a question. I feel that way about the question my professor asked me. I think that my answer should have been no, I don't think my life will be perfect, but it will be right. It will have meaning. It will have value. It will have purpose. Right now, I feel like my life has none of those things, and I wish I felt differently.


Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am not ashamed!

I have seen this commercial several times over the past few weeks, and I LOVE it! What would America, or the world for that matter, look like if more Christians stood up for the gospel of Jesus Christ?





How about you? Are you not ashamed?

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God
to salvation
for everyone who believes,
for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...



***For more information visit http://iamnotashamed.org/***

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordful Wednesday ~ Time off...

Welcome to Wordful Wednesday,
as hosted by Angie at Seven Clown Circus!


We hopped back on the Wii Fit last night after a long time off. Apparently, longer than we realized!

70 days for me...


...and 74 days for D.T.!

I was relieved to learn that I only gained a little more than 2 pounds, and D.T. only gained slightly less than 2 pounds. Whew! After our body tests, I did some balance games and free stepping (while watching Wheel of Fortune, of course :-)), and D.T. did some sit ups and push ups. He said he was going to get on the treadmill this AM, but when I got out of bed at 5:30, he just rolled over. Ha! He did make up for it a little by doing some more push ups and sit ups while I got ready for work. I'll leave those to him. Give me my stepping, and I'm good. :-)

So, do y'all have any springtime fitness goals? What is your favorite exercise? :-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stuff it.

Be prepared. It's raw. Sometimes, it has to be.

Have you ever discovered that it is easiest (I did not say easy) to get through the challenges facing you if you just stuff it all down and ignore reality?

I have.

That is, until someone asks me how I am or how things are going with the adoption. Then, the floodgates open, or they threaten to open while I make every effort to stuff it all back down. It never fails. While I appreciate the interest and the inquiry, I don't want the conversation to center on me. I don't want to bore everyone with the sordid details of my life. I don't want to slash your grand delusions of how perfect life is or how everything will turn out just the way it is supposed to in the end. I don't want anyone's pity. It always happens, though. Somebody always asks, and that is okay as long as you really want to hear the ugly truth.

It happened last night. I even thought of not going, but that wasn't right either. So, I did. I went to share some time with some very special women to say goodbye to a very special woman from our Sunday School class who was moving to the other side of the country. Like that's not emotional enough?

I am glad I went.

Plus, the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes were out of this world! Yum!!! :-)


The fellowship was good too, even though eventually, the question was asked. I tried to answer generically. I tried to stuff it away. They encouraged me to share, though. So, I did, and it was good - - - and bad - - - all at the same time. Good because they understood, or tried to. Bad because it became once again about me, and it's not supposed to be that way. Here, it's not that way. This is my place. You can choose to come or leave, but they couldn't. They had an obligation, and I hate that. I hate being the object of anyone's duty to listen. Nevertheless, they asked, and I answered.

I told them that I am about done with all this. I am tired. I am worn out. I don't even really want to keep going. I just want to quit and forget about the whole thing. I am willing to say that I must have gotten it all wrong because at this point, I really do not believe that it will ever happen. I must have misunderstood Him. This must not be what He wants for me. For us.

Perhaps, this feeling will pass. I do not know, but it is how I am feeling right now. Thanks for letting me get it all out. Now, I can return to reality, continue to stuff it all back down, and look all happy.


Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Untitled.

Perhaps, because there are no words to explain or justify what our government did to us last night. Two words alone are sufficient for my troubled soul to grasp. I AM. The name by which He is to be remembered by all generations. Unfortunately, what we have chosen to do is pretend that He is dead and to put an unnamed marker on His grave. Oh, that this country would remember Him again. Whether they want to acknowledge Him or not, He is still in control.

***
I took a little break from blogging this last weekend. Three full days, actually. I can't believe it. I think this is my longest stretch yet. I guess, sometimes, you just need a break.

***
We took a road trip this past weekend and got to see family. Very nice. I also started reading the book I recently won. I would like to share a few things from the book a little later, but for now... suffice it to say that I read out loud to D.T. while he drove until my mouth turned dry... and I cried. I only made it through 1 1/2 chapters. I don't think that I have ever identified with any one person or process description any more in my entire life. I could have written every word myself. Very validating. I'll share more on that later.

***
I am relieved to be done with my class. Not sure how long it will take me to get bored, but I'll take it. It is nice to not have that responsibility right now. I can choose to clean or organize something if I want, or I can choose to rest or just watch television. Aaahhh.

***
We pick up our canine children after work this evening. You know, we love them a whole lot, but sometimes, it is nice to have a short break, too. I imagine it is the same way with your children? :-)

***
Diet and exercise are in order again. Actually, they never stopped being in order, but we stopped paying attention. Time to jump back on the wagon now that SPRING is here and winter is a distant memory. :-)

What is on your agenda now that SPRING is here?

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I pushed myself...

...last night, and I am proud to say that I finished my group proposal. Such an incredible sense of relief! Of course, the OCD side of me will need to read through it and make adjustments no less than five or ten times, but essentially, IT IS DONE!!! :-) It is due Sunday night, but I plan to submit it tomorrow or Saturday.

I am looking forward to a little break from classes. I didn't sign up for another one until the second part of summer, so that should give me a bit of time to let my body and mind recover. My soul, too. Sometimes, I wonder if my wildly fluctuating emotions have anything at all to do with the schedule I impose upon myself. I'm looking for the balance, but not certain that I will find it. I like to be busy, and I hate to be bored, even if I make myself sick with overexertion. Never give up! Never give in! That is the first rule of Perfectionism 101.

D.T.'s brother will be here to visit in slightly less than a month. I am looking forward to that. This will be the first time since his mother visited a decade ago that a member of his family will share in our life on this side of the world. I'm sure our visit will be full of laughter, lots of new memories, and quite a few house projects since he knows better than us how to do those kinds of things. ;-)

Guess that's about it. I am looking forward to a class-less weekend. What are you doing this lovely SPRING weekend? :-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordful Wednesday ~ Elegant? ...or Ghetto?



Welcome to Wordful Wednesday,
as hosted by Angie at Seven Clown Circus!

D.T. loves putting on his Chef jacket to make really elegant, old-world home style Sicilian food! Ben likes to watch. :-)


Is it ghetto, though, that I use the dog crate in the kitchen to fold towels???


In the restaurant where D.T. used to work at, one plate of this dish would have gone for about $15 - $20!


I think that D.T.'s love language is feeding friends and family!


Ben wants to know, though... is it ghetto to make a really fancy dinner on really trendy plates and then eat it on TV trays in the living room??? ;-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lunch time conversations with one very smart husband! :o)

*driving down the road*

D.T.: Your birthday is coming up. What would you like?

C.C.: answer (keeping it short + generic here :o))

D.T.: How much does that cost?... Wait. It doesn't matter.

*End of conversation*

Any unmarried guys out there... take a tip! That was the right answer. LOL!

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...


Tuesday Tidbits~ brain rolling down the hill...

Where is my brain??? I just introduced our house guest to my coworker... for the second time. You'd think I would have remembered that I introduced them to each other at my house last week when my coworker came to pick up her little girl.

***
I am beyond unmotivated right now. I had a dream in the wee hours of last night. I dreamed that I did not want to finish my group proposal. Therefore, I decided I would just drop the class. You know, the one I already attended and completed everything for except the proposal. Good choice, C.C., good choice! Again, where is my brain?

***
I am not really feeling the whole adoption thing right now, either. I've gone through these feelings before, and I am sure I will go through them again in the future. It's not that I'm upset about anything, but I'm also not really interested in any of it either. I guess you could say I am rather ambivalent. I sorta wonder if I've gotten the whole -God gave me this desire to be a mother- thing wrong. After all, D.T. and I do have a good life and marriage with each other. It's not so bad being just the two of us. I read two things from two different Christian ladies yesterday. One of them proposed the following:

To me, adapting now feels a bit like a negative concept...
like God and I have different ideas about my life,
and by adapting I'm begrudgingly adjusting my view
rather than surrendering to His.
I've learned through the trial and error of life
that I don't want to adapt anymore.

Then, the other lady said:

I think it pleases God when we pursue
the dreams He's tucked in our heart
.

and encouraged her readers with this:

Sweet sister, bring your dream, whatever it is,
back out into the light of day and press on.


I'm not quite sure what to do with both of these thoughts. I like them, and I think they each have nuggets of truth, but they are also very different from each other. On the other hand, though, I need to find congruence between both statements and my own experience.

***
I am very much enjoying the weather changes this week, and I really enjoyed the 10 day forecast this morning. Can you say "No coat?!?" The first day of Spring may still be a few days away, but it's already arriving here! :-) I am SO excited!!! :-) :-) :-)

How about you? What's the weather like in your neck of the woods? Can you see the tulips and daffodils yet??? I miss the ones my Gram used to have growing next to her house, and I'm not so good at growing things. LOL! Perhaps, I'll have to call a gardener. :-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not me! Monday!


Welcome to Not me! Monday! as hosted by MckMama!

I don't know about you, but this week, I certainly did not cave in and buy an iPhone. Nope! Not me!!! I don't give in to crazy trends like that.

Check everybody else out @ My Charming Kids!

:-)


Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Memories...

I am feeling a bit nostalgic this morning. My friend who stayed with us last week to do an intensive is here with us for one more week to do another intensive. Goodness, that girl's got more stamina than me! ;-) Her class this week (the same one that I took the other week) is being held in the building where D.T. and I work. So, this morning, I showed her around and helped her find her classroom. It was funny as we walked to see bunches of other students, some older and some younger, wandering through the halls looking for the room. Many others were bright and early and had already found their way. Looking into the room, we could see many seated with their laptops, looking just a bit nervous for what might await them. I remember that feeling like it was just yesterday. Well, it was only a few weeks ago, but still. I wish I was back in class instead of going to work. Sometimes, it is nicer to pretend reality does not exist.

I miss my friends from group. They got it. There was no judgment. They were like me in many ways.

Alas, my class will be over soon, too. I did a significant amount of work on my group proposal this weekend. Three small sections remaining, and I will be finished. One more class locked away. Six classes down. Fourteen more to go. Perhaps, more than 1/4 of the way there is a better way to look at things. ;-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts from "Tear Soup"...

I am working on my project. When Tear Soup (Schwiebert & DeKlyen, 1999) *Forgive me for the formatting. It is an APA thing :o)* was read to us at the support group I attended the other week, one of the paragraphs that stood out to me the most was this:

“Grandy found that most people can tolerate only a cup of someone else’s tear soup. The giant bowl, where Grandy could repeatedly share her sadness in great detail, was left for a few willing friends” (p. 21).

I thought that was a really true and very profound thought. No matter how close our friends (bloggy or otherwise) are, sometimes they just can't bear our burdens. I'm glad, though, that there is one friend who can!

Consider these verses:

Psalms 31:24
Psalms 55:22
Psalms 121:1-2

...and then WE can pass on the comfort to others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Well, that's it for now. The thought just struck me, and I wanted to share. Enjoy your weekend while I keep pluggin' away! :o)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Photo Flashback ~ Hola!

Welcome to Friday Photo Flashback,
as hosted by Alicia @ More Than Words!

Friday Photo Flashback

I may have shared this picture once before. There are too many posts to go back through to check, and I don't really remember. Even if I did, though, it is worth sharing again! The picture on the left was D.T. when he was little. I don't know how old. Maybe 3? Looks about right. He loved music even way back then. The hat is hysterical, though! Ha! The picture on the right is in the mid to late 90's at a Mexican restaurant up north for D.T.'s birthday. He wasn't super thrilled with the whole sombrero thing, but I found it rather amusing. ;-) I think the picture on the left was perhaps a prediction of things to come. LOL! Yes, now I am remembering. I think I did share this picture once before. Hold on a minute... aaahhh yes, here it is! So what if I repeat myself?!? Sometimes, I just don't know what to post. Plus, that was all the way back in 2008 when we were first working on the album for our adoption! My, my, how time flies!



Have a great weekend, everyone! I may or may not be around much, depending how my group proposal goes. It's due next weekend, but I want to finish it up this weekend.

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Grief ~ a little about my proposal...

As I work on the group proposal for my class, I am doing a lot of personal work as well. You know, working through my issues. I've actually been doing that for many, many years without any firm resolution. Rather, a slow evolution, of sorts. I can honestly say that I am much, much better than I used to be, but I am also nowhere near where I need and desire to be. I am also grateful to God for taking me on this journey, painful as it often is, because I know He is forming me into who He wants me to be. I guess that the unknown can be a good and exciting thing sometimes, because I certainly could have never predicted all of the twists and turns my life would take! I mean, seriously? Romania? MS? Infertility? Adoption? Never in a million years could I wrap my mind around the way it is all playing out if I were not actually living it!

Back to the topic at hand, though. Grief. One of the main reasons I chose this topic for my proposal is that one of my group members in class pointed out that I was really grieving. Her comments made me realize that a lot of people are grieving, just in different ways. Death of a loved one. Divorce. Infertility. Any kind of loss. You see, I am not alone. It is not only me, and sometimes, that mere knowledge is enough to provide encouragement and a certain level of healing. That is why I believe that a group for grief counseling would be particularly effective. There is something very powerful in the mechanism of identification. Especially for women, although perhaps that is because of my own experience and the fact that I am a woman. Call it a bias, if you like. Hey, at least I realize and admit it. ;-)

Anywho, there was a point that I wanted to make. After our group was over the other week, another member of the class, but not my specific group, was having a conversation with me and one other classmate. She made a comment that the grieving process typically takes about a year to go through. Something clicked in my head. Of course, I am still grieving. Of course, I have not completed the process. It is perpetual for me. Over and over again. Month in and month out. Year after year. How could I possibly get over it when it always goes back to the beginning? It is like a bad version of the movie Groundhog Day, and I am stuck oscillating between the steps of anger, bargaining, and depression! Especially the depression. I have definitely bypassed the first step of denial. Yes, I fully believe that this is my current situation. No more denial for me. I haven't quite gotten to the last stage of acceptance, though. I am getting closer, and I have even attempted to cross that threshold a few times. I'm just not quite there yet, but I will get there. I know it. With God's help.

I am still not sure how this project will end up, but I am excited to see how God puts it all together for me! 10 days and counting until due date... :-)

Can anybody tell me why I feel like I've written all of this before??? Have I? Maybe it is just the Groundhog Day experience. LOL!

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordful Wednesday ~ No more excuses!

Welcome to Wordful Wednesday,
as hosted by Angie @ Seven Clown Circus!


I finally got the second book yesterday that I ordered for my group proposal project. It is the one on which I based this post. I think that I can definitely use this book, actually both of these books, in my career for many years to come. If I finish this project, that is. ;-)



Now, I have no more excuses not to work on it. Can you guess what I'm doing tonight?

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

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