How to write this post?  How to sum up 2009?

These thoughts have been going around and around in my mind for weeks now (is that pathetic?).

I've started to write about how bad this year has been.  How hard.  How much I've struggled.  A kind of 'good riddance to 2009 post'.

And then I remember, that there is the other side.

And I start to write about all of the good things that have happened this year.  A kind of 'focus on the good of 2009 post'.

But I've realized that writing about one side without the other isn't it either.

Until a few weeks ago, I was truly counting the days until 2009 was over.  I don't remember a time when I've ever wanted to turn the calendar so badly to a new year.

I don't remember a time when the promise of a new year, a new start, actually meant something.

And I think 2009 will be the year I first felt like an adult.

Sure there have been moments of 'adultness' before.  Never so many, so close together as this year.  Some good.  Some not so good.

But in 10 years, how will I truly look back on 2009?  

Here's what I hope and pray I remember:

That I truly understood God's Grace for the first time in my life.
That I am married to an amazing man who is truly a gift from God.
That I am stronger than I realized.
That I am blessed in many more ways than I am not.
That real friends are truly those who you can be yourself with and your true self is enough.
That at the end of the day, the wag of a tail really can make life happier.
That loving your job is an intangible, invaluable blessing.
That I can choose whether my glass is 'half-full' or 'half-empty'.  I choose 'half-full'.
That I 'met' some of the most amazing people through the blogosphere; and strengthened my IRL relationship with others through it as well.
That God is good.  Always.

What do you want to remember from this year?



Well, I didn't get it all done - not even close.

And I didn't freak out.  Not even once.

What I did do was enjoy Christmas.  And the time with family.

What I didn't mention before was that this Christmas was going to be different.

I didn't mention it because I had already freaked out about it (sorry 'bout that honey).

Not so much freaked out from stress, but from hurt.

I don't want to go into many details about that side of it, because on this side of it is something so far from hurt I can barely put it to words.

On this side of it is a girl who spent Christmas Eve with The Man and part of my in-laws - 2 SILs and my MIL and FIL.

On this side of it is a girl whose heart is full of love and family.

On this side of it is a hurt that was healed by those who didn't do anything to cause it.

I've always thought I 'hit the jackpot' where in-laws are concerned.

Now I know, this amazing extended family is another gift from God.  A gift I'm not sure I deserve, but I sure am grateful to have.

The spirit of Christmas was truly in my heart this year - never before has it been so evident.

**Updated (at 10:56pm) to add:
You are all making such sweet comments, but I'm realizing the focus was more on the sad than the happy and my intent was to be on the happy.  I am quite all right and actually very happy with how everything turned out.  Would I have changed the way it went down, maybe, but maybe not because if I had, who knows if it would have ended up so well!


Left to Do

It's December 22 - and I have left to do:

1)  Mail Christmas cards
2)  Finish shopping
3)  Wrap gifts
4)  Decorate (OK, this one probably just isn't going to happen)
5)  Bake cookies (I'm crossing my fingers for Christmas Eve)
6)  Ship gifts to Texas for my bro and/or his fiance (whoever I may have in our Secret Santa - just in case they're reading)

And without all of this left to do, I would normally be a bit stressed freaking out.

But this year, for whatever reason, I am not.

Maybe it's because I've had my share of freaking out this year and I'm just all out of freak outs.

Or maybe the freak out has yet to hit.

But, it feels most like the Grace of God is whispering to me and reminding me that all that I have left to do is not what Christmas is about.

And that while I'm never going to get it all done, I can be ready.

And I am wishing for you all a peaceful Christmas spent enjoying those around you and truly celebrating the birth of Jesus.


Ebay Fail

*Updated to say:  EBAY HAS REFUNDED ALL FEES!  Yay!  If you tweeted, emailed, blogged, whatever'd - thank-you!  Now if you would please pray for Jaden, he's back in the hospital :(.*

The details:

A few weeks ago I donated a PartyLite Gift Certificate to be sold in an auction to benefit Jaden (see his cute button on my sidebar?).

The auction was hosted by the wonderfully kind and totally fun, Supah at Adventures of a WannaBe Supah Mommy.

As Supah set it up, Ebay offered to waive all sellers fees so that all money raised would go directly to Jaden and his family.

The fail:

Ebay is now reneging on their promise to waive all fees and the family will lose over $400 in profit because of this.

What you can do:

(Comments are closed on this post because I'd really like you to go over to Supah's site and help Jaden and his family).


Friday Fragments: New Job Edition

For more Fragments or Quick Takes, please visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

  1. The new job is great!  It's challenging, rewarding, my days fly by, and I get paid - today!  What more could a girl ask for?!?!
  2. I'm re-learning how to work all day, run a business in the evenings, and still get it all done.  Let's just say the learning curve is a little steeper than I expected.  Some things that may or may not get done this year?  Decorating and Christmas cards.  You know, nothing major - ha!
  3. When being shown my new office (which is brand new, no one has used it before me) my boss mentioned that I could have a coffee pot.  I mentioned I didn't drink coffee, only tea.  And on Wednesday, my boss got me my very own tea pot!  How nice was it to have a continuous supply of tea all day yesterday?  Well, since you asked, it was very nice :).
  4. While I'm loving the new job, I am missing being 'in the know' throughout the day.  I liked my snippets of news, blogs, and tweets whenever I wanted.  Yesterday I realized just how out of it I've been when I came home to discover that Chris Henry (former WVU Wide Receiver) was fatally injured in a car accident and that 'Doc' Holliday, a WVU Assistant Coach and Recruiter, was the new Head Coach at Marshall University.  Two pieces of BIG WVU news in a day and I almost missed them both.  (You really didn't think I could keep up the lack-of-football-related news forever, did you?)  Oh, and I think there's something about health care going on too....
  5. Even though I prayed hard before making this decision, I was a little nervous that maybe I was making the wrong one.  Clearly, I still need to learn to trust God.  He has reminded me every day that I am in the right place with a reminder (big or small) to reaffirm that I am in the right place.  I am so grateful for these reminders.
  6. I was also a lot nervous about how Kali would adjust to spending her days in her kennel instead of being able to lounge on the couch or the ottoman or anywhere she'd like.  Two weeks in and I think it was the right decision for her - she's calmer in the evenings and the pacing that had started recently is now gone.  She loves her routines this pup of mine and I think she's glad to be back to what she knew for most of her life.
  7. And last but by no means least, The Man.  He's been so supportive (not that I expected less), but he deserves a public (and very big) THANK-YOU!  Making dinner sometimes, helping to keep the place neat, taking over some errands, and always being willing to massage my feet, neck, and shoulders are just a few of the ways he's helped to make this transition easy.


Blogoversary: Somewhere in the Middle

A year ago today, I started this blog.  I really didn't think I'd be sitting here a year later still writing.  I thought it would be one of those things that I started, but never finished.

I've written about Faith, Friends, Family, Football; opened a few Cans of Worms; participated in Carnivals; and even given and received Awards.

When I read back through my posts, I see how I've changed.  I see the highs and lows of this past year.  But what I see most is how wrong I was.

I thought this blog would be a place for me to record the fun little things that happened in my life.  It certainly has done that.  But as I drove to the airport on Thanksgiving Day to pick up my brother and his fiance, missing Mass to do so, I felt God urge me to listen to the 'Inspirational' Genre on my iPod (if I couldn't worship at Mass, I could in the car).

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones!
As I listened to the music, tears streamed down my face.  It became very clear to me that I have much to be thankful for.  And I felt God speak to my heart again.

The title of this blog comes from a song that is very special to The Man and I.  I stand by it's title, with one addition.  In everything I do I want to be sure The Man Feels My Love so that I may praise God, for without Him, I do not have The Man.

While there's been lots of fun stuff around here, the process of sharing my faith walk, my struggles, feeling the prayers of others and of praying for others has meant so much to me.

And it became clear to me that God had bigger plans for this blog in my life.  It has become a chronicle of my walk in Faith.  Of my increased knowledge and increased understanding of what it means to love and follow Him.  Little did I know that this blog, and a simple Resolution to become more educated about my Faith, would have such a profound impact on my life.

Two-thousand nine has not been an easy year for us.  I've struggled with my purpose in life; we've struggled financially; and at times, I thought I might just lose it.  With each step forward, it seemed that we took ten steps back, and at times it became very hard to bear.  It put stress on our marriage, and while I wouldn't say our marriage was ever in danger, it was more work than it was easy this year.  It was the first year that I can say that.

But I've learned that God goes before me, always.  That while He is omniscient, He also cares deeply.  That the power of gratitude and prayer cannot be underestimated.  That while I'm not comfortable quoting scripture, He is present in my life.  Most importantly, I've learned that He has a place in my every day life and not just at Mass on Sundays - and how easy it is to have Him in my everyday life.

I'm definitely not claiming to have it all figured out or to be perfect.  I still fail every day, the difference now is that I understand that God does not love me any less when I fail.  I am absolutely Somewhere in the Middle (part of playlist above).

To those of you who've walked any part of this journey with me, you have touched my life.  You've touched my life in a more profound way then I ever expected.  Whether it's with consistent visits and comments or your own posts on your blogs, the impact has forever changed me.  You were just what I was going to need this year, I didn't know it, but God did.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank-you.  If I could hug each and every one of you - I would, so consider yourself (((hugged))).

I had no idea what the first year would hold, but I am certainly looking forward to the 2nd...


Things and People I LOVE LOVE LOVE

Thanks so much to Michelle at Musings of a Catholic Lady for this award!  I truly love the friendships I've made in the blogosphere, so this means a lot to me!

The rules:
1. Post award on your blog with link love to the person who gave it to you ~ check, (see above)
2. Post 5 things you LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • The Man
  • Mountaineer Football
  • Warm, sunny days
  • Hot Tea, specifically Chai
  • My pup, I never knew I could love something with 4 legs so much

3. Pass the award on to 5 bloggers you LOVE LOVE LOVE

Now please go visit these wonderful ladies and share the comment love!


Wordless Wednesday

**Photo taken with my phone, sorry for poor quality**


Where I've Been

I know I've not been around to your blogs recently.  Or even around my own much recently.

I've been busy.

Sure, there was Thanksgiving with my brother and fiance in from Texas.  Not only did Jen ask me to be one of her bridesmaids, but she also made it through the entire WVU-Pitt game (it was 30 degrees and the girl's from Texas - I'm impressed!).

And then there was the football game.

But then there were 2 job interviews.

And 2 second interviews.

And 2 job offers.

And a trip to Winchester for PartyLite Training to celebrate the promotions of a member of my team and myself.

And then there was a decision to make.

Of course, I did make a resolution this year to not Hem and Haw; but this decision needed some careful thought and lots of prayer.

And I decided.

I accepted a job as a Director of an Early Learning/Child Care Center here in town.

It's a big job.  With lots of challenges.

And I'm excited!  And nervous.  But mostly, excited.

It's not the path I thought would be in front of me, but everything about it feels right.

I gave this decision completely to God and I am trusting Him.

So, I'll be catching up and getting around to your blogs just as soon as I adjust to having to get up, get dressed, and leave the house on-time again.

To say Thank-you for your support these last months would seem so inadequate.  Please know, I've felt your prayers and I am so grateful, more than words could ever say.



Music Monday

I am so proud of my Alma Mater!

I was not in band, but can appreciate a great performance, and I hope you do too.


A Great Day to Be a Mountaineer!

It's a Great Day to Be a Mountaineer, Wherever You May Be!
~ Tony Caridi, the Voice of the Mountaineers (play by play announcer)

For the first time all season my ears were blessed to hear those words!

Sure, WVU has won games this season as evidenced by our 8 - 3 record.

But none of them have been quite worthy of Tony Caridi's famous quote.

Two years ago, the end of The Backyard Brawl was marked with stunned silence.

This year, it was marked with jubilation, cheers, and tears of joy!


The Backyard Brawl

Brawl (n) - a noisy quarrel, squabble, or fight; a bubbling roaring noise, a clamor; (slang) a large, noisy party

Yep, that's about right.

The Backyard Brawl (n) - an annual football game between the West Virginia University Mountaineers and the Pittsburgh Panters

Tonight, 7 pm.  Mountaineer Field at Mylan Puskar Stadium - we Brawl!

My post last weekend about wanting Michigan to lose, had only to do with wanting see a little 'what goes around comes around' for a coach who did WVU wrong.

This week, it's all different.

Tonight we play Pitt.  And I never root for Pitt.  Ever.

Unless of course their victory in some way helps the Mountaineers.  But wait, I don't really root for them, I usually root for Pitt's opponent to lose.  So yep, NEVER.

As Jack Fleming's, the former Voice of the Mountaineers, mother explained to him as a small child:
You hate Pitt now.  You hate Pitt tomorrow.  You hate Pitt until the day you die.  After that, you will hate Pitt for eternity.
Yep, that's about right.

It's no secret Pitt leads the all-time series, big time.

It's no secret Pitt played spoiler to WVU's National Championship hopes two years ago.  13-9 is a score burned in my memory.  I never want to hear 65,000 people that quiet ever again.  Ever.

Tonight, it's our night.  It's WVU's turn to play spoiler.

If it's true that "Revenge is best served cold", then it is shaping up to be a good night.  The snow is falling as I type.  The temperature for kick-off is set to be 36 degrees.

I know it's not nice to hate.  But I do.  I hate Pitt.  Just typing the word makes my stomach turn a little.

And even hearing the score 13-9 makes me want to be sick.

But, tonight, it's different.

Tonight, the season that has not gone as expected can be redeemed.  By beating Pitt.

It is time.

Let's GOOOOOOO Mountaineers!



If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Happy Thanksgiving!


Giveaway AND Sale!

**Updated, contest and comments are now closed.  Congratulations Dena!!!!  I used the Random.org Generator, but I am not smart enough to copy it here for proof, but I promise it was legit :)!**

**Updated to say - keep reading, Giveaway info is near bottom of post.**

I usually do not use this blog to promote my business.  I value the friendships and love that are here; and that I can be real, without worry about how it may affect business.

But, PartyLite is having an AMAZING Sale this coming Thurs - Mon and I wanted to pass this information on to you.  So, yes, I'm sharing the sale info and I would be ever so grateful if you did your candle shopping for the holidays with me, BUT, I'm also doing a giveaway too!

Before you head out for the insanity of Black Friday shopping, stop by my PartyLite website (www.partylite.biz/rebeccaroyse) and shop until ALL of your candle needs and desires are met!

Sale Runs Friday, Nov. 27 - Monday, Nov. 30

Prices start at $6!  (Some items will have limited quantities so if you see it and want it, don't wait :)).

All orders will ship direct to you!

For every $25 you spend, you will get a ticket into a drawing for NEW 2010 Products/Wax!!!

AND a GIVEAWAY for my Bloggy Friends (yea, that's you!!!):

$40 Gift Certificate!

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Tweet about this post on twitter (you can follow me @RebeccaWVU) and leave a second comment here telling me that you've done so.
  • Blog about this post on your blog and leave a third comment here telling me that you've done so.
  • Visit my PartyLite Site, click on SHOP and then come back here and leave a fourth comment telling me what is your favorite product.
***UPDATED TO ADD:  Contest for the $40 Gift Certificate ends Monday, Nov. 30 11:59 pm***

The fine print:
The contest for the $40 Gift Certificate does not require any purchase.
The contest for the $40 Gift Certificate is funded by me, I was not given a certificate to giveaway).
The cyber sale is separate from the $40 Gift Certificate Giveaway.


Go Ohio State Buckeyes!!!

Yes, you read that title correctly.

Today, as most Saturdays in the fall go, I will be watching football.

But today, I will be rooting for a team other than my beloved Mountaineers.

Yes, that's right.

A different team.

It will be short lived.  Very.  From Noon until Victory to be exact.

Then, I will no longer care about this other team.

What team is it that I will be rooting for?

Image borrowed from Ohio State Team Fan Shop.

Yep, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

(It kinda hurts my fingers to type that.)

Anyway, I know you are dying to know why wondering if I have lost my mind or maybe if this blog has been hacked or I lost a bet.

But no, I truly want Ohio State to BEAT MICHIGAN today!

And here's why:

When Coach Rich Rodriguez was hired at WVU, it was a new day.

West Virginia University experienced success unlike it has ever experienced before; with athletes more exciting than ever before.

But then, on a cold day in November, a #2 ranked WVU team lost to an unranked Pitt team (more on the Backyard Brawl on Friday).  With that loss, went our chances for a National Championship.

As I've stated on this blog before, West Virginia University is the winningest program in college footbal without a National Title.

After that game, Rich Rodriguez stood at his press conference and took the blame.

And then he professed his love for WVU (his Alma Mater) and vowed to finish his career here.

Two weeks later, on a nighttime flight, he left for Ann Arbor.

Rich Rodriguez was the new Head Coach at Michigan.

Now, I know that Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and to turn the other cheek, but for this man, I so want to see him get what is coming to him in this world.

When he left WVU, he told recruits of his decision before his current team.  He sent a graduate assistant with a note to inform his boss (the Athletic Director) of his resignation.

He broke the hearts of a team.  Of a state.  Of Mountaineers everywhere.

And now, at Michigan, he has broken records.

-Michigan's most losses in a first season.
-First freshman Quarterback to ever defeat the Wolverine's (that quarterback happened to be one of the recruits he called before telling the Mountaineers he was leaving)
-First losing season in 41 years.
-First season without a bowl game in 34 years.
-Lost consecutive games for the first time since 1962

Oh, and let's not forget the NCAA Investigation into Allegations of Rule Breaking.

So, tomorrow I'm rooting for the Buckeyes.

Because they play Michigan.

And if what goes around comes around, Rich Rodriguez won't have to sneak out of town on a late-night flight, he'll be shown the door.

Let me say this part too:
If Rich Rodriguez had taken a microphone and publicly said, I've loved my time (or not loved, just been honest) at WVU and I see a better opportunity for my career and my family in Michigan I would feel very differently about this.

Yes, I would have been disappointed.  A little bitter, too.

But not betrayed or lied to or made a fool of.  (Again, you'd think I actually played in the games - ha!)

I hold no ill will towards Michigan directly.  When they have a new coach, I'll go back to being completely indifferent about them.  For now, I hope they lose today as badly as another team (we'll get to them on Friday).

(Side Note:  I am nervous to even hit publish on this post because I know how Rich Rodriguez can turn things around.  I watched him do it at WVU.  I so don't want to jinx OSU, but I'm keeping the faith that he is reaping what he has sown and OSU will be victorious today!)

This is one WVU Fan who is FOR Ohio State today!  Go Buckeyes!


November 1987

Mid-November, and the weather must have been unseasonably warm that Saturday morning.

My brother, M, and I begging to go outdoors.

Mom and Dad said, 'no, wait awhile.'

I complained, wondered what was so important that we couldn't go outside and greet our friends.

We sat down at the table.

We needed to talk.

The result of that talk?

A divorce.

Mom and Dad were getting divorced.

Our family was getting divorced.

I was 8.  I ran from the room.

M was 6.  I think he asked some questions.

Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning in my life.

Mom, M, and I went to Nan and Pap's for Thanksgiving.

Dad moved out.

We came home.

Dad didn't live with us anymore.

There was no back and forth.

No maybe we'll get back togethers.

March 1998, the divorce was finalized in court.

But it was really November 1987 that divorce was finalized in our reality.

This November, I am thankful.

Not for divorce.

For Mom who raised us 11 1/2 of every 14 days.

For Dad who made weekends all about us.

For Mom who worked and went to school to better our life.

For Dad who made every sporting event/concert on the calendar.

For Stepparents who have only added to our lives.

For Grandparents and friends who helped out.

For a brother, T, I would not have otherwise.

For The Man, who could not understand, but realized how serious I was when I said 'Divorce is not an option for me.  I've already lived through one.'

For The Man who I lay beside each night, knowing that we choose marriage. Every. Day. Forever.

This November, I am thankful.

Just not for divorce.



I've talked about contrasts in my life before.

On Friday morning, we got a call we had been somewhat expecting, The Man's Grandma had passed away.

On Sunday, we spent the day celebrating my Nan's 81st birthday.

I felt so guilty standing in the card store picking out a card for my Nan on Saturday night, knowing that my husband had lost his.

I felt so blessed to be able to be standing in a store picking out a card for my 81-year old Nan.

I felt so blessed to still have my Nan, who at 81 enjoyed a day of going to see "A Christmas Carol" on 3-D iMax, followed up by a drink at a bar while we watched the end of the Steeler game, and finished off with a yummy dinner at Olive Garden.  I hope I'm still going like she is at 81.

I felt guilty, because while I know The Man enjoyed the day, there had to be an undertone or twinge of sadness.

Today, while on the way to the funeral home for the first of 2 viewings for The Man's Grandma, I called my Nan to wish her a Happy Birthday (today's the actual day).

Yesterday, while driving home, The Man, my Mom, and I were talking about how drastically movies have changed in my Nan's life.  From 'talkies' of the late 20's/early 30's to 3-D iMax films of today.  Wow, what this woman has seen.

Today, while watching my mother-in-law tear up at the loss of her mother (who she's cared for over the last 2 years), I couldn't help but hear the children running and playing in the back of the room.

Proof, that in fact, life does go on.

Proof, that the contrasts in our lives are blessings.


Moving On

Updated 5:15pm:  I received an email saying that while I was a great candidate (and the reasons why) and they'd like to keep my resume on file, I did not get the job.  But, they'd like to keep me in mind for if the program expands next year.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  For now, I'm still, moving on.

Original Post:

I'm moving on.

I've heard nothing at all from my interview last Friday.

I've sent a thank-you note for the interview.

I've sent an email ensuring I had not missed a call (found out my mom left a voicemail earlier this week that I did not get, got a little panicked).

I've heard nothing.

I'm moving on.

Thankfully, I've got a wonderful distraction tonight.

WVU plays Cincinnati.  In Cincinnati (it's on ESPN2 at 8:00 if you're interested).

Last year, Cincinnati upset us at home.  In Double Overtime.  After we had come back from being down by 2 scores with less than 2 minutes to go in regulation.  Including an on-side kick recovery and a 52 yard field goal.

This year, Cincinnati is undefeated.  Ranked #5 in the country.

This year, we've shown spurts of potential, but haven't put it all together.

On twitter this morning, the question was posed, should we feel bad if WVU upsets Cincinnati and knocks them out of National Championship contention - because it would be bad for the Big East Conference?

Um, NO!  WVU comes first.  Let's ruin Cincinnati's season tonight.  Then Pitt's on the 27th.  And finish up with a good ol' fashioned slaughtering of Rutgers on Dec. 5th.

The Big East wouldn't even get a tenth of the respect, however small it is, that it currently gets if it weren't for WVU the last few years.  We've been consistently competitive and we've consistently won our bowl games.

Tonight, I'm hoping and praying that we put it all together.  My stomach is in it's usual state of uproar.  But there is a sense of hope, of maybe tonight instead of dread and worry.

I'm hoping the boys actually playing the game are feeling the same way!

Let's GOOOOOOO Mountaineers!!!!!



I've not been holding out on you.  I haven't heard any news myself.

I thought the interview went well, but I also know they were looking to fill the position fairly quickly, so I'm not hopeful at this late date.

In the last few days, I have had moments where I've wondered why, if this job wasn't supposed to be the path I went down, was it presented into my life the way it was?  Was it a distraction?  But then I remind myself it is not my place to question God (yet it is in my nature to do so).

I've tried hard to not let this be just a distraction.  To learn from it.

I'm reminded of another time I changed jobs.  It was a job that seemed 'meant to be' that ultimately led me to another job.  It led me not through connecting me to one person, but by giving me the desire to look for what I really wanted.

Is history repeating itself in my life again?

So, soon I will learn if I will be offered the job or not.  (If not, I do hope it is in the form of a phone call from the principal, not just being left to wonder or seeing someone else's name listed in the position on the website.)

Soon, a new chapter will start.  Either as a preschool teacher or to continue weaving through this unknown path.




What do you prefer?

Disqus or Blogger - please take the poll above (it's anonymous) - closes on Friday at noon!

Thanks in advance!


The Saturday Evening Blog Post, On Sunday Morning

Elizabeth Esther hosts The Saturday Evening Blog Post on the first Saturday of each month to highlight the best posts from the previous month.

This month I'd like to highlight a post about a day that was full of sadness, but also pride in my Alma Mater.

Just one week before WVU was scheduled to play Connecticut for WVU's homecoming game, UConn experienced a horrible tragedy in the death of one of their star cornebacks, Jasper Howard.

On that Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, there was crying in football.  Click here to read the full post.

And please, go visit Elizabeth Esther to read some fantastic posts from October.


Saturday Evening Quarterbacking

A little Monday Morning Saturday Evening Quarterbacking...

Well, it was a win.

Once again, it wasn't pretty, but the Mountaineers pulled out a win.  As far as the Big East Conference is concerned, at this point, a win is a win.  Without some major upsets and shake ups in the Top 25 a National Championship just isn't gonna happen this year.  But a Big East Championship is still possible...unless we continue to play like we've been playing.

I'm a Mountaineer through thick and thin.  We could be 0-9 instead of 7-2 and I'd still put on the gold and blue and settle into my seat for games.  But the intensity that has (not) been displayed this year is disappointing.

Sure, a few years ago, a 7-2 record would have been making me ecstatic!  But that was then, we've come to expect more from WVU Football.

Sure, a coach jumped ship - a season and a half ago.

Sure, a starting (and star) quarterback graduated.

Sure, our team has had a whole new system to learn.

But what does that have to do with intensity?  What does any of that have to do with playing to WIN, not playing NOT to lose?

That's what seems to be missing this year.  The desire to WIN...the desire to dominate opponents...the desire.  It just seems to be missing.

Is this coaching?

Is this the players?

Is it the fans?  

Is this post contributing to the lack of desire (wow, I think a lot of myself, don't I??? *blush*)

Sure, a 7-2 team going into the toughest 2 games of our schedule should be exciting.  The potential should be intoxicating, but instead all that is intoxicating is the Captain and Coke.

So, come Friday night, when the Mountaineers face an undefeated, top 5 ranked Cincinnati team, I will settle in and cheer for my team.   I will root hard and yell loud.

But if the boys in gold and blue don't find some intensity and some desire, I fear I will be disappointed.

And this time, if there isn't intensity and desire from the boys in the gold and blue, they will be disappointed too - for a loss on Friday, means the goals of the season are gone.  No longer will the Mountaineers be in control of their destiny.  No longer will a Big East Championship be in our hands.

For now, I'm choosing to be hopeful.  Choosing to believe that we have just been playing to the level of our opponent.

Choosing to believe that come Friday night, under the bright lights, the Gold and Blue will shine bright and for once this year, we will celebrate a win.  A beautiful, well-earned, deserved win - not an ugly one.

Let's Go Mountaineers!  Let's Goo Mountaineers!!  Let's Gooo Mountaineers!!!


At Peace (and some football too)

Wow - what a week!

From water heaters leaking to putting it all out there to unexpected phone calls to an interview, it's not what I thought this week might hold.

And guess what, there's a home game tomorrow!  (You know I couldn't go a WHOLE week and not talk football, right?!?!)

So for now, it's in God's hands.  If I'm offered the job, I will take it.  If I'm not offered the job, I'll know it was not what God wants from me at this time.

It is in God's hands (is it ever not in His hands?).  And I'm very much at peace with that.  

Thank-you to all of you who have prayed and reached out this week, it means so much.  

So for now, I wait.

So let's talk some football.

Last week?  Not good.  Not good at all.  In both of our losses this year, we've blown a great start and a lead by beating ourselves.  I never like to lose.  No, I hate to lose.  But, if a loss must come, let it be to a better team who beats our best.  This beating ourselves with turnovers and lack of execution is killing me.  Talent is not an issue with this years Mountaineers, but for some reason playing all-out a whole game is.

This week?  Can be a HUGE statement game if WVU chooses to make it one.

Even with 2 losses, the 4 most important games of our season start tomorrow.  I know it's such a cliche to say, it's a 4-game season.  But truly for the Mountaineers, it is.  With 4 wins, we win the Big East Conference Championship and earn a BCS Bowl Bid.  Everything, wins and losses, before now really do not matter.  If we win out, we win.  If we lose, we lose.  It's really that simple.  Each game means everything as far as the results of this football season go.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to see an impassioned, recommitted, determined group of Mountaineers take the field.

Let's GOOOOO Mountaineers!!!!!


Is that You, God?

So, I have news.

I got a call today.

From the Catholic School across the road.

About an opening.

For a preschool teacher.

The principal wanted to know if I'd be interested in coming in for an interview on Friday.


Is that You, God?

Is this just a distraction?

Or a path I had not considered?

I do have a degree in Early Childhood Education.

I was a preschool teacher.

But what about kids with hearing loss?

Yes, that job was very stressful at times.

The preschool part, not so stressful.

The hearing loss part, stressful.  Very.  Sometimes.


Is that You, God?

I told the principal I had to discuss it with my husband first.

We discussed.

We figure it's worth going in for an interview.

We figure it's worth thinking, talking, and praying about this weekend.

So, God, if it is You, I am listening.

Please be near.

Please be clear.


Comfort in the Lost

Why do I take so long?  Seriously.

If I had just started blogging about what I was thinking and feeling, I might not have lost it so bad a few weeks ago.

If I had just put it out there, I might have not felt so alone.

Someday, I'll learn.  But I'm stubborn, so I'm sure it won't be anytime soon.

Also, there is something about writing it out and knowing that other people are going to read it.  I really had to think through what I wanted to say.  I had to think through it all well enough to get it out, not just swirl it around in mind.

I do want to clarify a few things.

I am so grateful to have my job with PartyLite because as I briefly mentioned yesterday, I would never have felt secure in moving back to Morgantown.  I would have felt (and said) 'there is no job for me there.' and we would have been stuck between choosing to stay where we lived where my job was good, and the few friends we'd made were good, but that was about all that was good.  Or move back to Morgantown, where my husband's job would be better, but I would have been in a 9-5 job I hated.

I believe everything happens for a reason.  Sometimes it takes a long time to see that reason - or even hurts to see it - but there is a reason.  I guess I'm to the point where I'm feeling like maybe the reason, or the season, for PartyLite in my life, as my main job, is coming to an end.  It's kind of ironic, because we always say 'no one quits this business with a full calendar' - meaning that people don't quit when things are good.  And I'm not considering quitting, but I'm not nearly as excited as I should be about the state of my business.  Do I sound ungrateful, I'm trying so hard to not be ungrateful and to not sound ungrateful at all.  Because, frankly, I couldn't be more grateful.  Without PartyLite, our financial situation would be, well, let's just say there'd be a whole lotta red.

So, now I'm starting to feel a pull towards a new season and frankly it scares the you-know-what outta me.

Until recently, I've always known what was coming next.  Had a plan.  And when I changed my mind, I changed it quickly and dove headfirst into what was next.  But now, the plan isn't playing out the way I pictured.  This is the first time in my life, I just haven't been sure what is next.  Or how to get there.  Or how to make it happen.  I suspect that God is teaching me a little about control here.  And humility.  And patience.

I am grateful that as I take this new path, down an uncharted (at least uncharted by me - God knew I would come to this path and he knows where it will lead) course, I have PartyLite as a job.  It provides income and flexibility.  If I had taken some random 9 - 5 job here when we moved, I would not have the flexibility to figure out exactly what is going to come next.  I wouldn't have the daytime hours to do research and speak with others as needed.

So, yes, I still feel lost.

I still feel like I'm looking into a complete unknown.

But I feel more confident in the unknown.

I feel a little comfort in the lost.



Now that I have a working, non-leaking water heater and all most of the stuff from the back room has been put back, I can get to what I planned to post about yesterday.

When I say planned, I mean that it's something I've started to post about for a while.  It is part of my request for prayer a few weeks ago.

The problem is, I'm not sure how to write it, because I'm not sure I understand it.  I'm not sure what this feeling I've been feeling is and since I change my mind on a sometimes minute-by-minute basis, I can't promise that this post will make any sense at all.

I'm going to get it out here.  I'm going to start recording this process because I feel it will result in great change and I want to learn from the process itself.

Some background:
I was really good at math and science in high school.  Really good.  And I loved it.
I started out college as a Chemical Engineering student.
I was good at it.  But I didn't like it.  Not.  At.  All.
I switched my major to Speech Pathology and Audiology AND Early Childhood Education.  (I had taken a sign language class in high school and was fascinated by all things hearing loss related and thought this might get me to working with kids with hearing loss).
I went to graduate school to be a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.  I focused on preschoolers who were using a spoken language communication style (the debate of Oral/Manual is for another post).
I got a job as an Itinerant Teacher working with Deaf/Hard of Hearing students of varying communication styles in grades pre-k through 12.

Then I got a new job.

I was teaching preschoolers who were using a spoken language communication style.  I worked hard to improve the program and saw major, amazing changes happen to it.  I had 2 years in which I hated parts of my  job.  I had very difficult families to work with (again, another post).

And then, I had 2 years in which I loved my job.  I. Loved. My. Job.

Then, we decided we did not like where we were living (well, we'd known it for a while, we just decided to do something about it).

We moved.

I choose, for many reasons, to not pursue a teaching job.  To focus on my PartyLite business and work from home.

Now, I find myself lost.  Truly lost.  I'm successful at PartyLite.  I enjoy it.  I love the potentials of it.

But, I miss my job.

I miss helping children to talk and listen.

I miss guiding and encouraging their parents.

I miss the world of hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language, and IEPs.  Yes, even the IEPs.

I miss my job.

My job does not exist here.  There is no classroom for deaf/hard of hearing preschoolers using spoken communication.  There aren't that many deaf/hard of hearing preschoolers using spoken communication.

There are countless people I would be letting down or disappointing by continuing to build and grow my PartyLite business.

I feel lost.

We were never staying in the Northern Virginia Area, so keeping my job (that I loved and that had a great salary and amazing benefits) was never an option.

But, now I feel lost.

A teaching job here would not look anything like my job did.  It would most likely involve being itinerant again and working with older students.  And the salary and benefits, let's not even discuss it.

I want my old job to exist here.  I want teachers in this state to have better pay and better benefits.  And yea, I want world peace too.

I'm trying so hard to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm trying so hard to just listen to God and let Him lead me.

But I feel so lost.

I promised my husband a wife who worked from home.  Who made a great income.  Who earned fabulous trips.  Who would stay home if we had children.  And now, I'm not sure I want that anymore.

And to top it off.  My desire to not have a child seems to be changing.  (Just a little, no I'm definitely not pregnant, as evidenced by the pizza, pretzel chips and chocolate I just ate for dinner.)

How is that I could possibly be wanting a career that has me working outside of the home instead of one that has me working at home AND now starting to feel as if maybe a child is something I do want?  Oh, and N. and Sara - I blame this change completely on the two of you - your babies are not good birth control.  Not. At. All.


And so, I feel lost.

So lost, that a few weekends ago, just before asking for your prayers, I pretty much, well,  lost it.  Multiple times in one weekend.  The fact that my husband did not either just walk out the door or have me committed to a rubber room speaks volumes to his character and his love for me.

I am blessed and grateful to have him.

But I am still lost.

What am I supposed to be doing? 

I strongly believe everything happens for a reason.  PartyLite came into my life unexpectedly, but very necessarily.  Without PartyLite, I never would have felt the freedom to move back to Morgantown - I would have said "there's no job for me there.".

We are living where we are supposed to, of that I am sure.  My husbands career is taking off and he works at an amazing facility for people who take great care of him.  He is happy and successful.  I am so grateful for this and proud of him for doing what makes him happy, despite many doubters along the way.

I am lost.


Water Heater Puddle

Today's originally scheduled planned post (that had nothing to do with football) will have to wait.

Today I will be dealing with something much less fun (that has nothing to do with football).

Yesterday, when we got home from a relaxing day at my Mom's, we found a puddle in our back room.

Yes, I said a puddle.

Much too big (and clear) to blame on Max.

Kali was in her kennel, so couldn't be her fault either.


It was the water heater.

Yes, I said the water heater.

It was leaking - all over our back room.

The back room where I keep all of my PartyLite stuff.

The good news - cardboard boxes with PartyLite products in them are very absorbant.  The damage to the other stuff back there could have been much worse.

And, PartyLite products are packed very well, so no actual products were damaged, just the boxes.

So today, I will be waiting for the new water heater to arrive.

First, I have to remove everything from the back room.

Then, I get to put it all back.

So, today's originally planned post will have to wait.

Hopefully I'll get to it before I have more football to discuss.


Let's Gooooo Mountaineers!!!!

8pm  ESPN2

Round 3 Kicks Off

WVU @ South Florida

Let's GOOOOO Mountaineers!

That is all.


It Turns Out There Is Crying in Football

The cloudy skies seemed appropriate on Saturday.

Sure, it was game day.  Homecoming even.

But it was a day surrounded by clouds.

It was a day of sadness.

It was a day of questioning why.

It was a day of realizing how brief and fragile life really is.

It was also a day when the best of being a Mountaineer was on display.

It was a day when respect for our opponent was more important than the outcome of the game.

It was a day when the opposing team was greeted with a standing ovation instead of a chorus of boos.

A standing ovation to let them know our hearts were breaking with theirs.

A standing ovation to let them know we understood how hard it was to take the field on this day.

A standing ovation to let them know that, on that day, we were all Huskies.

On that day...
A moment of silence.
Two teams meeting at midfield, embracing.
A jersey hanging on a sideline, softly blowing in the wind.
A helmet without a face inside it.
A game that was closer than it should have been.

On that day, our celebration was bittersweet and fueled more by emotion than the final score.

On that day, a coach pulled his team together as a family to thank its extended fan family for their support.

On that day, the scoreboard showed a winning score at the end of the game.

On that day, the scoreboard remembered a lost life.

On that day, there was crying in football.