Tuesday, July 30, 2013

She wore heels

Yesterday was the big day.

I had 3 interviews scheduled in the morning, which actually turned into 4.

They went great.   When I look back, I realize that these were almost easy interviews.

 Everyone I spoke with was so incredibly kind and the conversations just flowed.

Things are moving in a very positive direction.


I did want to let everyone know that I wore heels to the interview.

A classy, low, square heel.

No bunny slippers.

Partly because I don't own any.

Mostly because...

Well....you know.
I would like to send a great big 'thank-you' to the kind family at church who pulled up next to me in the parking lot and offered to get me a pair of bunny-slippers for the next morning if I needed them.

That offer was deeply appreciated.

And I would have considered accepting the offer, but the interview outfit I had packed just didn't go with bunny slippers.

Maybe next time?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Funny Dreams

I woke up yesterday morning with a headache and clenched jaw.

This might have something to do with it:

I was in a large conference room with a panel of interviewers.  In the corner was a small couch in which I was laying down on, while still in my jammies and fluffy bunny slippers. {Which is hilarious because I don't wear or own a pair of slippers let alone bunny slippers.}  Sitting at the table (looking professional) was the other candidate for the position.  Apparently we were to have a debate to see who would 'win' the job.  

I sleepily answered each question.  Knowing I had no chance against this woman.  

Especially after my kids appeared in the room and started bickering.  

The managers asked me if I would consider actually getting off the couch and joining them at the table.  I sleepily agreed. 

As I stumbled to the table, the other candidate made fun of me and mocked me.  (Who wouldn't???  I was at an interview in pajamas and bunny slippers with my three fussy kids!!) 

The panel of judges told her to be quiet.  That she just lost out on the job because 'they don't like mean people to work there and apparently I have a sense of humor for showing up dressed like that and they like people who are likable.'    

Then, thankfully, I woke up.

Anyone care to decipher the meaning behind this dream?  There is the obvious I'm nervous about the interviews.


Where do they fit into the picture?    

Monday, July 22, 2013

let me believe it {if only just for a moment}

Someone needed a ride to Connecticut.

Of course, they asked me if I was going anytime soon.

I wasn't planning to go

But who says we always need to have a plan?

I figured it would be a good time to get the kids back out to reconnect with some friends.

And maybe even hit the beach.

Especially since most of the gas would be paid for :-)
I thought it might be good to mention to the place where I have been interviewing that I will be back in Hartford for a few days.

I was right.

I now have 2 interviews set up for Monday with 2 managers at each interview.

Possibly more.

What is more shocking is that they are considering me for not just the position they originally mentioned, but a second one as well.

I can't begin to describe how that makes me feel.

Stunned surprise and excitement are a few adjectives that come to mind.

Neither job is officially mine.

I still need to get through the interviews.

In the meantime I'm going to thank God for the opportunities and the people who have opened doors for me.
To think that less than four years ago I was the abused wife of a drug-user.  I had no self-worth or confidence.  Yet something deep inside made me pull through and fight back.

Satan came to me tonight and told me that I'm not worthy of this.  I'm not good enough.  I'm not capable.  My head is swarming with self-doubt.

I'm going to fight that.  I'm not going to talk myself into thinking I'm not capable of this, not worth this, or not good enough of a person to get something like this.  I'm going to let myself believe, for just a moment, that maybe they see something in me that is good and capable and strong.  It feels good to think that.

I hope you do not read those words as words of pride, but read them as words coming from someone who is starting to catch small glimpses of good in herself.  To accept herself for who she is and who God made her to be. Even though she is different and humorously quirky, there might be something there that is good.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chapstick {A most thoughtful gift}

Today at church, a reader lifelong friend {who now lives out of state} came up to me.

She said she enjoys reading what I write here and had something for me.

She pulled a multi-pack of chapstick from her purse.

Fun flavored chapstick

She said she read in my Mother's Day post that I love chapstick and wanted to get me a little something to cheer me on.

Isn't that the sweetest thing? Ever?

Thank you, Jodi.  It meant the world to me.

Isn't it funny how the littlest things mean the most?

I'm going to do something little for someone this week.

I challenge you all to do the same!   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Can I be honest?

Can I be honest about the real reason I'm anxious about getting this job?

There are the obvious reasons:
  • I need a job {other than the hundred part time jobs I currently work}
  • We are ready to move.  Ready on so many different levels.
But the scariest thought of not getting the job is the reaction I will have.

I can read in the Bible that God wants good for me.

Sometimes I have a hard time believing it. 

There.  I said it.

I'm sure many of you will gasp in shock that I would think it, let alone admit it.

Trust me, its not something I'm proud about.  

Today I was listening to a sermon and he said:

"If you are a believing Christian who still has anxieties, then those anxieties are about things you haven't totally surrendered to God. Things you are keeping control of."

I did the whole "Pfff..what do you know.  My nature is to always be anxious about things.  I can't help it to be anything but anxious about everything, all the time."

Then I thought about it.  If I have a deep seeded doubt that God truly does have good for me, then of course everything will make me anxious.

Especially this job thing.

I want to find ways to make sure I get it.  Make sure it happens before the kids start school.  Make sure that it happens when and how I want it to happen.

I'm pleading with God to make it happen. 

And still I'm hanging on to the control of getting the job.

Do you ever do this?  Or am I the only irrational one?

The minister went on to say that we will never be fully at peace until we let God completely have our burdens.  We need to hand it to Him and let Him keep it.  We shouldn't keep checking in on Him to make sure He still has control over it.

Instead we need to thank Him for taking the burden from us. 

Then I realized that I do only pray asking God to make sure I get this job.  I'm 'checking in' on Him many, many times throughout the day.  Instead I need to thank Him many, many times a day for taking that load off of me.

This is going to be a struggle for me.  It's going to be hard to let it go completely.

But on second thought...its been a rather enjoyable evening to be relaxed instead of uptight and grumping at my kids.

There might be some truth to the letting God have it :-)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Don't Worry...Be Happy

I've been stressing the entire past month today.

I don't expect to hear anything from my latest interview quite yet;

but I was still secretly hoping I would today.

So when I didn't hear anything.

I stressed.

And worried.

And let that knot of whatiffs and howells build up in my gut.

Riley said he had the solution.  The boy who loves to take care of me and solve my problems.

"Go to YouTube and type in 'Don't Worry.  Be Happy.'"

He made me listen to it.

Isn't he sweet?  Trying to help me relax.

It made me smile...except for the parts where there are misspelled words.

Those did not make me smile.

:-) Hah :-)


I just closed my eyes.

And listened.

Tonight I am going to concentrate on just being happy. 

'Cuz I do have a lot to be happy about. 

Today I went to visit my cousin/reallygoodfriend.  Her boy and my boy are really good buddies and wanted to see each other today. 

Jody and I were looking through old yearbooks and I came across a picture of someone I didn't know. (He was quite a bit older than me).  I told her "I don't know him at all. But this picture and every other picture I have seen of him in the yearbook makes me think that he is a very happy person.  Even though you can't hear a picture, his smile looks more like mid-laughter than a smile.  He just looks so happy." 

The little boy she babysits looked at me and said "Kinda like you?"  

That stopped me dead in my tracks.  

It made me feel good. 

But it made me feel like a fraud.

I'm not always a happy, happy person.   I can get consumed with my personal stresses too easy.  Which makes me unhappy. 

I know it isn't realistic to just 'not ever worry and always be happy'....

But couldn't I worry less and be happy more?

Quotes. {Some thoughtful. Some insightful. Many are funny.}

I had fun doing the previous quotes posts.  

I thought I might make 'Quotes' a regular visitor to my blog. 

Some are thoughtful. And make me think. 

Some are insightful. And encourage me through this journey.

Some are funny.  And make me laugh a little too hard. 

Many are displays of my odd sense of humor.  



Friday, July 12, 2013

Graduation Ceremony {Everyone is invited!!!}

I wasn't going to do the college graduation ceremony thingie.

Multiple Reasons.

  • I wouldn't know anyone I was 'walking' with.
  • It would cost money I shouldn't spend.
  • It seemed completely unnecessary.
  • Most important: I couldn't invite all of you!!!
Then it hit me. 

I'll bring the ceremony here.  

Where all of you can attend!!

Okay. So I'm sure some of you are sighing and groaning that you have to sit through an entire graduation ceremony that is guaranteed to last entirely too long and be entirely too boring.  You might even be attempting to sneak out without me seeing.  

Which is fine.  

I understand.  

Graduation ceremonies are almost as boring as writing an essay on the different forms of telecommunication systems.  

Which I've had to do.  

And those are pretty boring. 

But for those of you who choose to stick it out and be there to whistle and cheer when my name is called there will be cupcakes for EVERYONE!!  You can maybe even have seconds! 

Here I am in my lovely gown (no cap) waiting on the ceremony to begin. 

 My diploma:

Picture with my kids after the ceremony.  Reagan was shy and was hiding behind my gown.

I really wanted to set an example to my kids.  I let them try on the gown so they know what it feels like to accomplish something. 

 These photos are real.  They did not happen because the university sent a picture of a gown with a clear back so you could put it over a photo and imagine yourself wearing it and finishing college. 

And I most certainly did not put it over a family picture and take pictures of a picture that was laying on my kitchen table so I could fool you into believing  I actually graduated in a real live ceremony.


Graduation ceremony over.  Thanks for all who decided to stick around and stay through the entire ceremony, listen patiently to all the speeches, and smile and clap politely at the millions of graduates that crossed the stage tonight to have their hand shook.  

There must have been a lot of you who stuck around, because I definitely had the loudest cheers of everyone who graduated tonight.  

You can help yourself to a cupcake.

Or two.
 Seriously. Go ahead and get seconds.  There are plenty for everyone.

In all seriousness, a million thank-yous to everyone who helped me through the past 4 years.  

There were the friends {Diane, Linda, Virginia and Betsy to name a few} who cheered me on when I was ready to give up in tears, my family who helped watch kids, my sister who helped me through Algebra, my fellow classmates who were amazing teammates and taught me so much about teamwork. 
My school adviser, Chuck, who knew exactly how to motivate me and telling me that because I was a single mom I deserved a bonus 1.0 added to my GPA :-), my counselor, Kirsten, who helped me stay focused and grounded. Even reminding me to get some sleep!, and my father-figure, Kevin, for being a constant source of wisdom and encouragement, reminding me that this is an accomplishment and this is a big deal.

But most of all my three amazing children, Riley, Rhianna, and Reagan.  For the majority of their lives I was in school.  Even when we were in hiding from their dad, I was writing essays and doing research. 
They would go to bed early and patiently so that I could get a jump on schoolwork.  They would do extra chores, so I could get a little bit of sleep.  They would be patient with me when I would oversleep from exhaustion, and make them late to field trips:( . 
They were the ones who were most excited with every 'A' and they were the ones who's mouths dropped open and a 'whoop' came out when I showed them the diploma.  I hope that they don't ever forget how much effort they put into the degree.  

Its not my diploma, its ours.  

And I dedicate it to them. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Troy Boy ~ #8

I'm so excited!

Troy Boy can finally fit into his #8 tie dye onesie.


Remember this post about tie dying shirts for my mom for Christmas? The one where we put the grandkids' names on the back of the dyed shirt and the number/order they are a grandchild?

I made a little onesie with an '8' on the back for the Gasser baby who was due in early January.

Yesterday was the first day of swimming lessons.

Kelly came for her girls and Troy showed up looking quite handsome in this:

He must have known that I made it for him because he laughed and talked to me for a little bit before snuggling up and going to sleep in my arms.

Love that boy.

I think the tie-dyed numbered tees should become a Christmas tradition project for the cousins!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How it went

Phone interview went great.

I think.

It felt like it did.

I had met this woman a few weeks ago, so that made it very comfortable to speak with her.


This step is completed.

They are still working through the process of narrowing down applicants.


I'm nervous and excited all wrapped into one.

I would love this job.

I  know I would thrive in this position.

But thats not my decision to make.

So I'll wait.

And keep doing what I can do.


Thanks for everyone's love and support through this job search :-)

I can't sleep

Reagan: "Mama. I can't sleep."

Mama: "Why?"

Reagan: "I'm not sure.  Its either because I'm too hot or too cold."

Mama: "Well, which is it?  Or is it really because you wanted me to rock you a few minutes?"

Reagan: "No, I really don't know if I'm too hot or too cold."

Mama: {snuggling the little boy} "Do you know I love you?"

Reagan: "I love you more."

Mama: "I loved you first."

Reagan: "Nope. I loved YOU before you loved me.  I loved you when I was in your tummy."

Mama: {kisses little boy, snuggles him a little tighter, and then sends him back to his bed}

Monday, July 8, 2013

'860' Phone Calls

I was hoping to hear something this week about the progress of the hiring process.

Throughout the week days I check my emails hundreds of times each day.

I'm starting to think that the 'watched email account doesn't get the email like the watched pot never boils'.

I'm keeping a realistic viewpoint of this and knowing that this could all fall out from under me and even if it doesn't it could still take weeks or months for the process to complete.

But I was still hoping to get a little ray of sunshine and find out more of the progress of the process.

I woke up this morning and was telling myself that Mondays are probably very hectic at a big business so I most likely wouldn't hear anything today....or even tomorrow.

I would maybe hear something on Thursday or Friday so chill out Julie! 

But I still checked my email every few minutes.


Then the phone rang.

860-xxx-xxxx was on the caller i.d.

Like I always do when an 860 {Conn. #} rings I yell to my kids "BE QUIET!  ITS HARTFORD!!"

Part of me thought it was maybe a friend calling who I didn't have stored in my phone contacts.

Which would be lovely to hear from a friend, but...well, you know...I want progress on this job thing!  

I ran out the front door {front porch = quietest place in the house} and answered as professionally as I could muster.

Sure enough, it was human resources calling!!!

She wanted to touch base with me and set up a formal phone interview with someone I had already {informally} met with.

The phone interview is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

I'm not sure what all will be asked or what happens after this.

Assuming I don't bomb the whole thing.

One more step, one more piece of the process.

Pray for me, will you?

This is getting rather exciting!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Indoor S'mores

Indoor, oven baked, not-so-messy S'mores.  

My kind of fun. 


A friend and I swapped kids.  I got the girls.  She got the boys.  

I definitely had the better end of the deal. 

For a fun girlie treat, we made indoor S'mores. 

These are entirely too fancy for the messy boys. 


Put the giant marshmallow on a graham square.  Perfect job for little fingers. 

I used the broil setting on my oven toaster.
Worked great and my apartment didn't heat up from the big oven :-)

Toasted...time for the chocolate. 

You can add a square of chocolate or a Hershey's Kiss.  

This part was a little warm for little fingers, so I did most of them. 

All done.  It only took about 5 minutes from start to finish.

I am not a fan of S'mores.  
(*gasp* I know...I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't like them.)

I did eat one little bite and they weren't terrible...for S'mores :-)

I think the girls thoroughly enjoyed them!  

Whiny Fireworks

We did fireworks 'for real' tonight.

Not just driving around, creeping through the packed neighborhoods that were close to the launch site.

We did the 'lawn chair, sparklers, ice cream cone' real deal fireworks.

I love going to Orrville Fireworks.

They never fail to bring a good show.

We had Riley's friend Hannah (actually she's a friend of the whole family:) with us, which is always a great time.

She is great at putting up with the crazy antics of the kids (and me too sometimes!).

We went through McDonald's to grab a cheap cone and then found our way to our spot.

We did a few of the sparklers that Hannah brought and then they played tag in the dark.

I have no idea how there were no crashes and cracked heads.

The fireworks started and a few minutes into it the fussing started.

Reagan was 'bored' because there was 'nothing to do'.


Nothing to do????

He wasn't sold on my idea of 'sitting and watching the fireworks'.

Then he decided he was hungry.

Which I was kinda understanding...dinner was a long time ago.

But there was the fact that he didn't want to finish his ice cream 15 minutes earlier because he was full.

I cuddled him a little bit and that settled him down.

For a time.

Then the fussing started again.

Am I the only parent who deals with this?

I really want to do fun things with my kids.  I really try to do fun things with them.

But it never fails, at least one complains the whole time.

Will they look back on times like tonight and remember they were miserable?  Or will they only remember that it was fun?

Because sometimes I want to say forget it and just not do anything fun.


After the grand finale, we headed to the car and started to get in line to get onto 57.

That is when I realized I only had 1/4 tank of gas.

Most likely enough, but didn't want to risk it.

We stayed in the parking lot and they played frisbee and lit the remaining sparklers.

Reagan cried in the car.

He did finally listen to reason, seeing the long line of cars knowing we would be sitting in that line.

Then he cried because they wouldn't throw him the frisbee.

Oh my.

By the time we made it home, he had his happy-go-lucky nature back.

Why does the crying and whining and fussing have to always happen while we supposedly are having fun?

All in all I think we had a great time!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pinterest {a variety from my collection}

Awhile ago I did a post of funny or inspirational quotes I found on Pinterest.

I thought I'd do it again.

Some are inspirational.

Some are fun.

Some are pretty.

And quite a few are funny.


I've got the best ones

Too cute

I want these in my garden

My kind of s'mores.  

I can't wait to try this...feeding my addiction of spray painting things

Ahhh...I {heart} shoes

How many times did this happen before they put up the sign?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fireworks {Last Minute Adventure}

Last night Rhianna spent the night with Grandma Tricie.

Which left me and the boys at home.

Last minute I remembered that Wadsworth was having their fireworks.

I made each boy a tall ice cream cone and we headed out at the last minute.

In the past, we have driven down to Premier on Eastern Rd.  I thought we would sit there again.

Once we got there we realized two things.  We couldn't see very well (the fireworks weren't high enough) and the lights at the dealership were entirely too bright.

I decided to drive around until we could find a better spot.

We ended up in the grocery store parking lot in town.

We could see fairly well.  But there were people gathered that kept staring at us and whispering and it creeped me out.

We decided to just drive home slowly, watching the show as we drove.

Part way home, I decided to turn towards the fireworks instead of driving home.

We ended up cruising around and getting really, really close.

As we slowly drove up the side streets, windows down, we could smell the smoke and feel the BOOM of the rockets.

The boys were hanging out of the windows, oohing and ahhing at how close we were and how the car would  jump at each BANG.

I was watching the road, weaving in and out of closely parked cars and didn't get to see any.

But hearing the boys get excited was totally worth it.

It ended up being a great time.

Sometimes I struggle with spontaneity.  Especially when it comes to kid things.

I'm glad I was tonight.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Psalm 118 {Middle Verse}

Some time ago, someone told me to slowly read Psalm 118.


I'm sure at the time I did.

The reminder came to me again last week.

So I read it again.


It was exactly what I needed to hear.

The simplicity of a Psalm, yet tremendously comforting to my soul.

As I was reading I noticed a little notation by verse 8.

In my Bible, these notations will send you to the reference column on the page.

I glanced over to the reference and it said 'The middle verse of the Bible.'

I read the verse again.

And again.

And again.

The thought that came to me was 'any random verse could be the middle verse.  But by no accident, THIS verse is the middle verse.  If you could sum up the entire Bible in ONE verse; this would be the verse.  And it is place in the exact middle of the Bible.'

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidences in man."

Reading this and knowing that God, being all knowing and all powerful, placed that verse in the middle was incredible to me.

Reading this and 'hearing' God speak it to me was exactly what I needed this week.

I'm still in the waiting game while they work through corporate process.  I know there is a purpose in it.  I know that things take time.  I know they are working on it.  But I'm still waiting.

While I wait, I start to worry.

I start to wonder.

I started to have fear.

Then.  I read that verse.

I read it over.

And over.

And over.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Boy and His Chinchilla

A boy and his dog.

Or in our case: A boy and his chinchilla

Chinchie is the entire family's pet.

But Reagan has seemed to claim him as his own.

More often than not, Reagan is running around carrying Chinchie, playing and tickling him.

Sometimes I feel for the animal.

But its all done in little boy love.

I think Chinchie is the luckiest chinchilla in the whole world.
Update:  Reagan has decided to start teaching Chinchie tricks.  First one is 'play dead'.  Shockingly enough at times it appears the animal is actually learning it.   

Monday, July 1, 2013

Risky Business

While visiting friends in St. Louis, all three kids learned to play Risk. 

Riley especially loved the game and wanted to own the game himself.

He set to work saving up the money to buy the game.

After a few days of hard work (thanks Grandma Tricie :-)  Riley had enough money for the game.

The whole family had enjoyed playing and we have spent hours and hours around the board.

Amazingly enough, there have been very few tears shed over losing one battle or another. 

Maybe the threat of 'if you fight or cry over this and I'll pack up the game and put it in storage until you are 30' is working.


We were in the midst of a fairly intense game. 

Because it was late, we set the game aside to continue later.

Then last night Riley had a friend over and they wanted to play it.

I didn't think it was fair to Rhianna and Reagan to have the board wiped clean when they were doing so well.

So I took pictures of the board.

And because we are pretty intense players I took pictures of each continent.  Just to make sure we had a close up of each piece on the board. 

Rhianna: Maintaining Australia
Mama: Working on Asia.  Gain ground, then get beat out, only to fight back again. 

Mama: Controlling Europe with Reagan threatening at the Southern border. 

Reagan: Controlling Africa, starting to spread into Asia.
Reagan: controlling South America.  Was working into North America, but pulled back for a moment. 

Riley: Controlling North America, trying to slip into Asia through Alaska.


This is working out great.

With so many storms lately the kids can't go out and play.  So we sit and play Risk for hours. {literally...hours!} 

And its amazing how much work I can get out of them if I say "We will play Risk if the list gets done!!"


In all honesty, board games are not my thing.  I don't enjoy them at all.  But this time with my kids?  Totally worth it.