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.