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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To the two people who read my blog!

Linda and Bekah, you get shout outs for not only reading my blog but commenting on it within 24 hours of posting!!! You are a shining example of how personal affirmation motivates because I am posting again tonight (two days in a row!).

I do have to say that its wonderful to just put things out there sometimes. At church on Sunday the sermon touched on how shame grows in darkness. I would say its not just shame, but most icky things loom like monsters under the bed until the are exposed to a little light.

I called my mom this afternoon, sweaty and hiding behind the sun visors in my car, crying my eyes out, strategically turning my head to avoid being "seen" while coworkers walked by. I will spare you details on the lack of tissue situation. It was kind of pathetic and kind of awesome. I was having a horrible day at work and the main problem was me. I had been in an ironic training all morning about how we can't do a good job in the field of social work unless we are taking care of our own issues and staying "regulated." Immediately after that training I spent the afternoon in a frustrating series of circular discussions where I handled myself badly in an already annoying situation. Do you ever see yourself and feel like you are watching a train wreck? In my training they call that being "dysregulated." Eventually I had to just "go to lunch" to get out of the office.

So I decided I needed to cry, and whenever I need to cry I call my mom. The problem is that I didn't want to call my mom, but I forced myself to and I told her, "mom I need to call and talk to someone who knows me and cares about me but I don't want you to worry about me or take on my problems." You see my mom is one who errs on the side of carrying others' burdens rather than just caring and frankly it drives me bat shit crazy because carrying other people's problems can sometimes literally make her bat shit crazy (I don't know how bat shit got into this but it fits). So all this to say I told her what I needed and she was absolutely amazing and let me cry about all the random things that might be the problem. When I was done I had to drive around for 30 minutes with the air conditioner on because besides being super hot, my nose was bright red which is what happens to me when I cry (another trait I get from my mom). In spite of the unsightly nose I felt so much better and totally wrung out. It was good and I went back to work and resolved things a little.

So that's my story...probably TMI, but that's pretty much how today went down.


P.S. Someday I will start putting pictures up. I make it a policy to only read blogs with pictures and skip the rest but I don't have any pictures that really say "I am strangely emotional and kind of depressed" so for now you will have to suffer without pictures.

Monday, July 9, 2012

She Speaks!

So I decided to post on this long deserted blog tonight, not so much for someone to read it, but because it's nice to get thought out there sometimes.

To tell you the truth I have been kind of depressed lately. Usually I am really good at figuring out my emotions, I turn my finely tuned analytical skills in on myself, and I figure out why I am feeling what I am and then try to give myself the advice I'd give someone else. I am really into problem solving and all that good stuff that helps us regroup and try things anew. Well I am sort of at a loss about what is wrong (let's be honest, there are lots of options to chose from) so I am going to go spend a pretty penny at therapy, trying to unravel the mystery.

I am nervous and excited about going to therapy. I am thrilled to talk with someone who is paid just to listen to me rant. I have no obligation to have a two-way conversation and quite selfishly, I want that. The thing is that when you love and care about people, as we all should, sometimes it's exhausting and you don't really know how to find the magic line between caring about their burdens vs. carrying their burdens. Sometimes even my own self-analysis is just so dang exhausting. So I'm trying to be more consistent about exercise, eat a little better, pray a lot more, and journal???  but let's be real, I've been planning to improve on those things for weeks but I just keep eating junk food, watching lots of TV shows and buying too much frivolous stuff... so next week I'm off to therapy. I'll let you know what I figure out (unless it's too deep and dark to post on a blog which no one reads).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jina gets married.

My friend Jina got married on Friday. I am so excited for her. She is a godly woman who really waited for the right guy & God really brought her the perfect match in Andrew. Above is a picture of her dad Bill, doing a puppet show for a bunch of kids at church. Jina & I are in the front row together. That's how long we've been friends. We have known each other from the playground, to the awkward Jr. High years, to High School camping trips, & we event went to college together in Georgia. It's fun to see someone's life from this perspective. A year will go by without much connection & then we will have a talk & I will see God's work in Jina, softening, strengthening, growing & renewing. It's a beautiful thing.

The Rosses with Rachel & I

This picture speaks for itself

Rachel dances with grandpa, shows him how to be ghetto

Mother & Father of the Bride

my parents like to boogy down

beautiful bride

The Gaws

The Daniels

The Kuhns

Jill, Linda, Rachel & I
We had a bridal shower for Jina at my house about a week ago. I was too busy being hostess to take any pictures but it was great fun for me. I love the feeling of Fall & so I was able to do Autumn-inspired food with apple cider & fun Fall decorations. It was a wonderful mix of women who had known Jina since she was young. It has the feel of a mini-reunion. At the end we did a funny "video" with her fiance in a refrigerator box painted like a TV. Since the Hawks are a creative & humorous bunch it seemed just about perfect... plus it gave us an excuse to bring Andrew to the party so we could get to know him.

Friday night was the wedding. It had a beautiful woodsy feel. Here are a few pictures of the dancing. Dancing is always one of my favorite parts of the wedding & I am forever being pleasantly surprised at how many of the people I've grown up at church with love to break it down when the occasion allows it!

G's 1st Birthday

 Last week my nephew Gregory (everyone calls him G) had his first birthday. Since my brother & sister-in-law just moved back here from Texas, I really understand what a blessing it is to able to celebrate these milestones with them. Kelly got into the event, she did an adorable barnyard theme since G loves animals right now. As you can see, the barnyard cake above turned out amazing & the animal cupcakes were so fun too! She also made "milk jugs" below out of Starbucks bottles. She also had plates with animal arms, legs & tails & even the food was kid/animal themed, deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, haystacks (sweet potato fries).

G himself just kind of played among the hubub but was supremely happy when given his new found love, corn on the cob, for dinner. Kelly was afraid he would be upset to have to trade in his corn for a cupcake but there was no need to worry. G literally sucked down the cupcake- he loved it! Jesse put together a picture slide show & by the time it was over the sugar crash had begun, G barely made it through is presents before he started staring into space. We were able to wrap up events just in time for bed.

One of the other thoughtful things Kelly & Jesse did was have all the important people in G's life write a letter for his scrap book. Kelly has been writing monthly letters to G on her blog throughout his 1st year so it all tied together. G is a very lucky guy, he has a caring a thoughtful mom, a deep, funny & kind dad & he has a bunch of relatives to love on him & look up to.

A Wrench in the Plans

Last week was one of those weeks I'd seen coming on my calendar, every night was packed, no room for extra commitments, sickness or crisis of any kind to hit. Well of course, we know things rarely go so smoothly.

Well nothing tragic happened but sadly the girl who had been living with us was kicked out of the program she lives with us through which means she had to move out on Wednesday. She had never really bonded with us. She had been pushing herself away from me pretty fiercely so it wasn't a relational loss for her to leave, but I was still sad. I guess she's the first kid to get "kicked out" of my house. Even though it wasn't my decision & there wasn't really anything I could do about it something about is smacked of failure to me. It's the cost of working with foster kids but it still stinks.

On the other had Rachel was "relieved" that she left. Rachel had been in the middle, the recipient of the information about all the sneaky decisions our girl was making, & ultimately she made the right decision to tell me what was going on. Our girl wasn't supposed to know that it was Rachel who told because she has some scary friends Rachel didn't want to get on the bad side of, but in the way things often do the world of social workers & placement moves, the truth came out. I felt pretty angry that Rachel is going to be walking around anxious about getting jumped by those kids, but then I started to realize it could be re-framed to teach her something about character. I want her to know that it is good to do the right thing even if it puts you at some risk & I hope this will help her learn that.

It was funny because the first reaction she & I both had was, "who is going to live with us next?" Right now it looks like it may just be the two of us for awhile. It's been a long time since it's just been the two of us, over a year. It was sweet to see how she has become used to this funny lifestyle we have of people living with us. Having an open home definitely seems to be a part of our calling as a family.

Well I have a lot of happy things to post about from last week... time to get busy making up for last week's postlessness. The spooOOOKKKky photo is a silly preview!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dance till it hurts!

Rachel went to a dance this weekend. Sometimes it's a shame blogs are such public places because I do believe I will have to leave out the more colorful pieces of the whole experience but I can tell you this, she looked amazing! The theme was "Hollywood Premiere" & Rachel chose a beautiful Marilyn Monroe inspired look. Rachel's date was Captain America, she was relieve to see he did not choose to wear tights. My friend Jessica did Rachel's hair. Rachel sat in her black robe getting primped by Jessica & said with her dramatic air, "I feel like Marilyn right now." "Depressed & ready to overdose?" I responded. Rachel did not find my response humorous. Jessica on the other hand was invaluable, she is great with teenagers & with hair. This is her second time doing Rachel's hair for a dance which takes the pressure off me as I am horrible at it.

Rachel is a real fashionista. She knew exactly what she wanted to be what she wanted to wear. The dress she is wearing we found this summer for $4 at an antique/2nd hand store. Her last dress for a dance we got for $10 off the clearance rack. Let me tell you, if you are raising a fashion lover it helps when she is also a bargain hunter. I remember hearing my friend Alyce share recently that it's a great joy for her watch her kids & grand kids excel in areas she's not good at or where she may feel timid or fearful. I totally agree. It is so amazing to see the natural bent Rachel has for fashion, hair & make-up. Her bio-family is really gifted at that as well, it's a special bond they share. She comes at it with an assurance & vision that is somewhat foreign to me. I delight in watching this blossom in her.

Tess gave a us a ride to drop her off as my car was in the shop. After leaving her at the insanely amazing house of the boy she went to the dance with, Tess & I drove away a little depressed that Rachel gets so many more dates than we do... so naturally we went & got a beer (OK, I got a beer & Tess got coffee). We consoled ourselves with the thought that there are a lot more single guys at her age. In all seriousness though, Rachel definitely has that boldness with guys neither Tess nor I possess. As a parent it's frightening, but sometimes I quite admire it. It's not usually manipulative, it just straight forward. If she has feelings for you, she'll let you know. If she wants you to take her to the dance, she'll let you know. If she is mad at you, she'll let you know. Of course I pray this will be tempered with age & wisdom but I admire the ability to put herself out there.

So I think the end of this story is the best. The dance Rachel went to was actually for her date's school where my brother & sister-in-law teach. Jesse & Kelly actually chaperoned the dance. Jesse sent me a picture during the event of Rachel doing her thriller dance. I guess she & uncle Jesse had a great time dancing together. She danced for 4 hours straight (even though her date didn't dance at all) & in the middle of it she got major leg cramps which Jesse had to help her stretch out. Sunday Rachel was walking like a 90 year old woman. She literally danced herself into a crippled state. That's my girl... she is over the top, even when it comes to dancing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad!

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. We had a family dinner on Monday night to celebrate.
In case you didn't already know, I really love my dad. He has been a wonderful father to me & his presence in my life remains so important. He is kind, funny, encouraging, honest, insightful, intelligent & faithful. He is not perfect but he listens to his children, he dialogs with us, he repents to us, he enjoys us. These are all things that have greatly impacted me as a person & as a parent. Dad loves Rachel & she loves him. He has 100% accepted, supported & loved her as his granddaughter & she feels it. My dad seeks to know & enjoy people of all kinds. He is hangs out with the underdog & schmoozes with the big shot all in the same day. His love of life & people has been passed on to all of his children. He has taught us that life is interesting, & colorful, & wonderful, even when things in front of us might be a little scary or rough around the edges. Seeing the world & myself through the eyes of my dad I can tackle challenges, explore possibilities, & put myself out there without fear. Let's be honest, it's nice to have a dad with what my sister Emily has dubbed, "street cred." I will always remember Jessica, Alina, & I sitting at a restaurant in college arguing about who's dad could beat up who. I am still pretty sure my dad would win... just sayin'.