Friday, February 18, 2011

how sweet it is

Valentine's Day. 2011. Not just my normal hearts day. I've always just considered this holiday to be Hallmark created and have just gone through the motions of helping the kids fill out their cards and preparing for school parties. It was just another day for me to love my kids. This year, I loved my kids but I had a bit of a different perspective in my own love life.

We had made planned to do something for Valentine's Day. The "where and what" were not finalized until the day before. We go and we do things all the time so today we decided to do something different. We went out to White Rock Lake, threw out a blanket and enjoyed our Arby's sandwiches and fries. (We even shared a little with the ducks.) Of course, I had to set the self-timer on the camera and capture a couple of pictures of this memorable day. After lunch, pictures and talking we decided to take a little walk. We walked, talked and stopped to sit on a bench to talk some more. It was such a relaxing afternoon - the sun had come back out after many days of experiencing the Ice Age, the wind had died down and I had gotten a pedicure because the weather was perfect for my new flip-flops. We enjoyed the walk back to the car and headed home. I am so thankful that he is willing to give me one of the most important things in any relationship - time.

The day before Valentine's, I came "home" to his house to find these beautiful roses, balloon and a card that melted my heart.

He even got single roses for Ashlyn and Kayla. I shared my gift and a photo montage put to music with him.

I've always heard it said that love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning. Joey has given it meaning. He's given new meaning to my life. It means so much to have someone that I truly enjoy being with every single day. Every day I realize how blessed that I am.

On this "holiday", I didn't love him any more than yesterday or any less than tomorrow. We love each other every single day. How sweet it is to be loved by him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

our team

the coaches:

4 outta 6 team players: (not pictured: Justin Smith and Clayson Davis)


Ice and snow didn't keep us from heading to downtown Dallas for the NFL experience. After all, it's not every year that the Super Bowl comes to town. We thought that the team players, especially the boys would enjoy it. Not so much. The girls had fun but got cranky when there was nothing to drink. After they refueled with a trial cup of Pepsi Zero, they were able to smile (instead of pout) again. The boys just weren't willing to be outgoing enough to "get in the game". They played a few football games but mainly just stood around complaining that they were ready to go and that their feet hurt.
As soon as we left and went outside to head to the car they noticed a hill covered in snow/ ice and spent twenty minutes going up and sliding down ... for free. The experience was expensive yet they enjoyed the bitter cold snowy hill that nature had to offer. One day they will think back and remember this experience and maybe even think it was fun :)
It was a memorable night for us and the snow that came falling down on the way home was amazing. All's well that ends well.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Arctic Blast Break '11

White out. It's taken on a new meaning. It's not something used to cover errors, it's what happened to our small town . The meteorologists were calling for a winter storm and they were right on. The first day was ice and flurries, the second day it was too cold to melt the ice but no flurries, the third day we were able to go to school and then the fourth day buried us in six inches of snow. I was iced in at Joey's house for two days and we enjoyed the slow down that it brought. On Thursday night, we took the kids to the NFL experience and by the time we got onto the highway that leads us home, it started snowing. It snowed harder and harder and would be what we Texans might consider a "blizzard". It was hard to see and the driving was slow. We eventually made it back to his house to drop him off and then I got my first "driving in snow" experience - I was a little nervous. The kids and I were snowed in at home on Friday and they played in it for a bit but apparently, they got their fill during our first snow storm in January. It was just a good reason to be out of school to them. Saturday, Joey, Matt and I went to a big hill and went sledding (on skim boards) for a little while - we had a lot of fun. My kids were at my mom's so if we get lucky/unlucky enough to get more snow, I will take them for some thrill rides next time.

Here are my picture collages that captured our memories.

Snowflakes are kisses from Heaven. (author unknown)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

one year later...

One year ago on February 4th, I came to the end of a sixteen year journey. It was a journey filled with many emotions - happiness, sadness, anger, frustration and trying to find self-worth. But, along this journey I received three of the greatest gifts a mom can receive and for this I will always be thankful. I experienced life, as I knew it, at it's highest and lowest points. This journey made me a stronger person through all of the struggles. I won't say that the entire journey was miserable and I won't deny that some of the misery wasn't self created. It was an unhappy situation for many years but pride and my kids kept me there. It wasn't until I was able to let go of this pride, risk disappointing my family (for the sake of my own well-being) and pray that my children would be okay, that I was able to realize that I was at a crossroads and it was time to take a new path. I'll never regret the journey that I was on or the decisions that were made because all of this created who I am today.

They say the grass isn't always greener on the other side but I have been fortunate enough to find greener pastures. A couple of months after the divorce was final, Joey walked into my life. He came along at a time when I had reached a very low point - afraid that I would be by myself the rest of my life, worrying about growing old alone and all the fears of the future that a young girl might worry about. He was good for redirecting those thoughts. With him, I've realized what I had been missing for so long - true happiness. Sometimes we don't know what we're missing until we have what we have never had. He brought my smile back. Since then he has also eased the fear of being alone and fear of the future. He's my hero :)

As the year has progressed there have been many ups and downs with Jared, with his parents and with my family members but the one constant is that I have remained true to myself. No one knew of the many nights that I would cry alone or the anxiety and bitterness that had slowly overcome me - mainly because I cared too much about what everyone else might think. That was good for everyone but me. I was hurting and this, in turn, unintentionally hurt my children. By being true to myself and learning to live with choices that I choose to make has helped me overcome and be a "survivor" in my small world created by the journey's end.

I am happier than I have ever been. What a difference a year makes.