Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just where I'm supposed to be

I’m not usually a very mushy person. I can be emotional and have been known to cry during certain movies ok and the occasional TV commercial, as well…but still, not mushy. Really.

Today though, I have just been so overcome with gratitude that I wanted to write it all down so that I never forget this feeling. I have come to the realization that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. In God’s infinite wisdom, and with His hand guiding me along, the bumps and bruises that I’ve encountered in my life have all had a bigger purpose leading me to where I am today. And I am so grateful.

Four years ago (plus a month) I was at another very pivotal time in my life, moving to Aurora from Ohio. I can clearly recall feeling a similar sense of relief and comfort. I felt as if God had scooped down with his giant hands and lifted up me and my babies in Ohio and gently set us down here in Illinois. From the outpouring of help from our church friends there to my uncle and cousins coming out to drive the truck and getting the new house all set up before I even got here…to me landing a job at the elementary school down the block and the kids seamless transition to their new school and new lives. Finding the Compass Church and reconnecting with old friends, being able to be emotionally supported by my family…it all was just a great big blessing. It was looking back on that from time to time that helped me stay faithful and even though I was a little angry at God and frustrated by circumstances, I knew He was watching out for me.

These moments of clarity though, they come and go. So that’s why I’m writing this all down today. Over the last 4 years, I have been battling demons at every turn. The never-ending divorce proceedings, the waves of depression, stress of being a single parent, not to mention the normal everyday stresses like finances and scheduling and transportation, oh, and the stupid exterminator…these things weighed me down. Maybe they still do. But today, I just returned from my new house. I’m scheduled to close in a couple of days. I am buying a home for the first time at age 37. It’s another miracle. It’s another testimony to the goodness of God and how His timing is always perfect.

If the divorce had not taken this long, I could not be buying this house. Past credit issues had time to heal themselves, leaving me with much better credit than I ever imagined was possible. The years of struggle and living in uncertainty without any real closure were all for a purpose. The ages of the children now (4 years later) have made it so my settlement agreement has to be extended beyond the originally estimated terms. So the delay again, was definitely in my favor, though at the time I lamented and couldn’t understand why I was being made to suffer for so long. My (somewhat forced) decision to not work full time 2 years ago was another blessing in disguise. It allowed me the time to not only finish some schooling, but also the time to delve into financial paperwork that allowed me to receive a better settlement through the divorce. It allowed me to be there for my children, I was able to devote all of my time and attention to them when they needed me. I doubted myself constantly, felt worthless and lazy, but in hindsight, I was just where I was supposed to be. When Jack was having meltdowns and dealing with his own demons, I was here and I was able to care for him and the girls and we weathered that storm like we did many others. When opportunities arose for me to get a job at the bowling alley, I was able to do that and same with the coaching job. That season, though hectic, was amazing for me to experience the thrill of doing something that I loved. It gave me a glimpse of what lies ahead for my own children as they enter the high school years, and it’s very exciting.

Since the divorce was finalized 2 months ago, I have been happier than I can remember being. As awful as that may sound, it’s like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. The closing of that door allowed so many others to open for me…and I am so grateful. Buying any house at all was going to be a dream come true for me, but with the incredible foresight and help of my mother, well both my parents, it’s even better than I ever imagined. Beyond all belief, things are falling into place. The showering of blessings that I am receiving at this moment is so great that I feel completely unworthy. But I am trying to remember that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Thank you God, for knowing just what I need and when I need it and for always being faithful and keeping me in the palm of your hand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jack needs a haircut

Just wanted to enter one of Angie's contests. :) Took this picture with my phone, haha! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jack's on Track

OK I was trying to come up with a witty title for this seeing as Jack and track rhyme, but now I'm thinking of other things like "Jack's on Crack" or "Jack Running Track - that's so Whack!" (It's way past my bedtime, can you tell?)'s true, Jack has joined the track team at school, for about a month now he has been staying after school until 5pm every day to practice. He was incredibly sore at first, but seems to have adjusted well. It's funny though, I always thought of track as "that running sport" which held absolutely no interest to me...but lo and behold, my son loves it. Little did I know, he doesn't have to like running. His 3 events that he participated in for his first meet today were shotput, long jump, and discus.

We met up at the high school after school at 4pm for this meet and didn't get to leave until around 6:30pm. The 3 district middle schools were all there, and though it seemed a little unorganized and very different from any sporting event I had ever been to, it was fun just the same. I was able to follow Jack around to his events with my camera around my neck. I'm not sure if that made me look official enough, or if they really don't care that a parent was on the field! Regardless, I got some nice pictures of my boy doing his thing.

They didn't have any medal ceremonies after the meet like the olympics, so I really have no idea who won...or how they even decide who wins something like this. But Cowherd seemed to do well winning several of the races we watched, and they specifically had some superstars in the long jump and discus throwing competitions. As far as I know, Jack did a great job for his first time. Regardless, I am really proud of him!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cougars game - take 2

Well what a week! Not only did I get to see the Cougars with Jack on Monday...but I got to have a deja-vu day on Tuesday as I met Gina and several hundred of HER classmates at the game for another Ozzie Reading Program celebration! And Gina, not being a moody middle schooler, actually walked onto the field for the pre-game parade with Ozzie! She was a little embarrassed when her friends pointed out that I was yelling her name and waving wildly while trying to take her picture! (That's by far one of my FAVORITE parts of being a mom - embarrassing the kids!)

Gina's school had much better seats, right behind the Cougars dugout...but the more I think about it, they are probably smart to put those middle schoolers out by left field! I got to visit with my old co-workers and friends from Allen School, and then when they had to leave to get back, Gina got to stay with me at the game and we had some quality one-on-one time before we had to leave to get the other kids from their schools.

As you can see here, Gina had a runin with a blue slushie that might still be stained on her face. Eww!

As for the other girls, Carmella thinks that her school will also be going to a Cougars game...but we don't know when just yet. I will look forward to another day at the ballpark whenever that happens though! Nora asked her teachers and they apparently did not sign up for this particular program. They told her she could go with her home school, but OOPS, that was Monday, so I guess she missed her chance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cougars game - take 1

I got a chance to see the Kane County Cougars game with Jack today...and several hundred of his middle school classmates. This is the annual "Ozzie" reading program that several of the district schools participate in. The kids have certain tasks to complete throughout the school year and their reward is a field trip to the game along with a t-shirt, hotdog and drink - all free! Yay!

The last 2 years I attended as a school employee, and that was certainly not as much fun as just showing up at the game as a mom with camera in hand. No responsibilities of counting heads or escorting students to bathrooms or concessino stands...just a nice relaxing day at the ballpark! And a huge bonus was the incredibly awesome weather - I even got my first sunburn of the year. Enough about me though, the true excitement of the day was Jack getting to play the national anthem with the band before the game. They did a wonderful job, and I was so glad to get to see my boy perform. It was well worth the red nose and farmer's tan/burn!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Eggs!

Well, with the kids trip to Mississippi impending, I thought we should get a head start on our Easter traditions. Even though they should be home in time to celebrate Easter with me, it will probably be late on Saturday before they get here. So....we dyed eggs today after school. I'll be living on egg salad and deviled eggs while they are gone, I suppose. For some reason, I boiled 33 eggs (eek!) And apparently, I also bought the worst possible egg-dying kit on the market, and it was even missing one of the color tablets. So 33 eggs with only 5 different colors to choose from. Grrr. Anyway...they are still beautiful, and we had fun. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another band concert...

With 3 kids now in their respective schools' bands, we have a band concert to go to ALL the time. OK that's a slight exaggeration. But it seems like it anyway. It was Jack's turn, the Cowherd spring concert is a combination of the choir and band performing, so it was extra excruciating, I mean exciting. Jack had a special honor though, since he is learning to play the bass guitar, he was asked to accompany the choir for one of their songs.

Jack has been blessed with a gift for music, he's an extremely talented musician at just 13, I can't wait to see what the future holds for him!