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I can’t believe how tired I am today.  Cheering on the USA in the Olympics is a tiring occupation.  It’s basically all I’ve done today.  I’ve managed to do some serious picking up during the commercials, and my knitting has been progressing rapidly.  But really, all I’ve done is watch the tv all day long, and cheer on during volleyball, water polo, swimming, diving, beach volleyball and white water kayaking.

The children have been less than amused that I have been occupying the new big screen tv downstairs, keeping them from the Wii, Netflix and PBS kids.  They really should not complain too much, I’ve decided that Olympics takes precedence over school work.  They only occur once every four years.  And in my world the Olympics are a big deal.  It’s the athletic competition, but it’s more.  It’s the world coming together and competing despite our differences.  It’s also the stories of the athletes.  It’s what they have overcome to get there.  I figure all of it can be cross-cultural learning as well as sports education.  They don’t see it my way.  They have quickly become bored with it all and are trying to entertain themselves with their top three amusements taken from them.

That was today, tonight, they are all about the Olympics.  They are dying to watch and see how the men’s gymnasts do.  Or maybe they are just trying to see if they can stay up a little later than normal.  Yeah, it’s probably that, but tonight I’ll let them play me.  It is the Olympics after all.

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The gym Julie makes me go to on Sundays was closed today.  The gym being on the same side of base as Arctic Thunder probably has something to do with that.  So I’ve spent the day watching the Olympics.

I love watching the Olympics.  First, you get to see sports you never see other than at the Olympics.  Like the rowing sports.  I can’t remember the exact name of the water races I saw today, but they were fun to watch.  Very exciting.  And beach volleyball.  I love volleyball, and the best times I played were on smaller courts with one partner.  Volleyball in the gym with a crowed court just wasn’t as fun.  Now I was terrible, but it was so much fun, and watching reminds me of all the fun.  Plus, it’s also exciting.  A point given every serve.  Today I have also seen diving, swimming, and gymnastics.  The synchronized diving was amazing.  The team from the USA was amazing.  Then watching the swimming where swimmers not only won the medal, but beat the world record.  So cool.  I’ve been having so much fun watching all day.

Along with the sports, I also love watching the Olympic commercials.  People talk about Super Bowl commercials all the time, and they are very entertaining.  But Olympic commercials deserve notice for their inspirationalness.  They make me want to go out and conquer something, be a part of something bigger than myself, or help someone.  They are the best advertising television has to offer.

Except one commercial.  I’ve been over the Pebble controversy after being here about a month.  After a year and a half, over it doesn’t even describe my feelings.  As the anti-Pebble people are the ones still shoving it down my throat, I don’t even care about the facts any more I’m pro-Pebble mine.  There is no way that my opinion on it matters, it’s not like I’ll be voting on it or anything.  If my opinion counted for something I would do some actual research into the matter and make a more informed opinion.  But it doesn’t matter, so being over the commercials is reason enough to take a side for now.  And the anti-Pebble Olympic commercial has to be the most annoying yet.  The previous one comparing the “Pebble papers” to tax law and the health care bill was actually funny, and was making me less anti-Anti-Pebble.  This new commercial lost all ground they gained and then some.  With bad election commercials I can at least know it will end with the election.  After eighteen months I’m wondering if the Pebble controversy will ever end, or if I should just accept it as the price I pay for living in this amazing state.  For getting to live here I guess I can deal with the fact that people are very vocal about how to deal with the natural resources this state has to offer.

Okay, random side note.  I’m currently watching the gymnastics and you have no idea how happy it makes me to see uniforms of soldiers sitting in the audience.  I like to see soldiers being treated well, including those who wear the flag of the UK.  They are all heroes and should be treated as such.

I’ll admit, this morning when m: y alarm went off, telling me to get up for the air show, I went a little snooze button happy.  However, the kids and I managed to rally and we were off only twenty minutes after I had planned to leave.  That early in the morning there was almost no traffic on the way to go pick up Julie.  So we were off to the air show at a reasonable time.  And then started our adventure.

As we were already on post, I saw no reason to leave post just to get the parking from which we could hop on a bus to take us to the other side of post to go to the air show.  But I had no idea how to get where I wanted to go.  It didn’t help that I didn’t really know where I wanted to go.  The maps and directions I found online were about as clear as mud.  Now, I must confess some issues of mine before we go on so it will be made clear why this is a big deal.  Number 1:  I hate driving.  I just do.  On occasion, on a beautiful day, on a highway with no, and I mean no, other traffic, I have been known to have fun.  In general, though, it is a means to an end, that I would honestly rather someone else do.  Number 2:  It doesn’t take much for me to get lost.  I am easily confused. I get confused by directions often.  Really, I over think them and second guess them.  Now, I give awesome directions, when I give directions, but I do that because I try to give directions that I could follow and I need highly detailed directions.  I also have a hard time imagining missing pieces.  If I haven’t driven a particular stretch of road, in my world it doesn’t exist. I must have been the driver, as well, I don’t pay attention as a passenger.  This means that when the road I want to take is closed, I’m up a creek.  Combining my general lostness with my difficulty to follow directions, ie detour signs, makes for some interesting times.  I do have a good new navigations system, but it feels about detour signs about like I do.  Number 3: I hate driving other people.  Know if I’m offering to drive you anywhere, I have much love for you.  I am overcoming a whole heck of a lot of uncomfortableness to do that.  And the more I care about what you think of me, the more uncomfortable I am driving you around.  I know I’m a cautious (code word for slow and doesn’t take risks) driver, and I know that that annoys most of the people I know.  So I figure I will be annoy you greatly when I drive.  Number 4: I have no love for traffic.  Other drivers stress me out.  The tragic tale of my Kia should give some insight as to why other drivers stress me out.  The more other drivers I have to deal with, the more stressed I become.  Put all that together, poor Julie was in for an adventure she could not have been prepared to deal with.  So I headed toward the road that the main gate would have led to had they not re-directed traffic, figuring that at some point I would be able to join all the cars coming on to post.  We quickly ran into a security guard and asked where we needed to go.  We were given the name of the street with no directions.  However, knowing how the base roads were laid out, we were quickly able to ascertain where it ought to be.  We were right, we found the road, but we still weren’t at the parking lot yet.  As we drove toward where we saw buses in the distance we ran into road barriers.  The parking lot was just across the street, but I had no idea how I might be able to reach it.  Julie ran across the street and asked the soldiers directing traffic what we were supposed to do.  Driving past the barriers and one U-turn (honestly, more like a three-point turn than a U-turn) later we were in line to get to the parking lot.  Before entering the lot a soldier asked if we were DOD, civilians, or a vendor.  When we showed our ID card, he pointed down the road we were free to drive on.  He had no idea.  I was over driving.  I didn’t want to try to find my way across base.  I just wanted to park.  I looked at him and asked if we couldn’t just park and take the shuttle, please.  He was surprised, but waved us on.  After backing into a parking space (only accomplished by virtue of my back-up camera).  Then we got to pass through the metal detector and having our bags searched.  The private searching my bag had to check out my hand sanitizer to make sure I wasn’t carrying contraband.  Finally, we were on the bus and on our way to the air show.

As we neared the show, I was glad I hadn’t tried to get closer.  The traffic was insane.  In fact, since being at the air show, I have seen figures of the number of people at the air show.  Between 100,000 to 150,000 people there, and most tried parking on the Air Force side of post.  Some people were in their car for an hour and a half waiting to get to the lots.  The Army side did not experience quite that craziness.

The air show was great fun.  The kids had fun, got to climb on planes and tanks, and got tons of free stuff.  My husband would probably be disappointed in us.  We never really just sat and watched the planes.  We did watch them overhead as we went from hangar to hangar, display to display, and vendor to vendor.  We saw the Golden Knights, the paratroopers, the older planes, and the F-22’s.  And they were all cool.  At the same time though, we entered all the drawings, got cool posters, tons of pens, stickers, and candy.  The kids got to do the bouncy things.  We had a lot of fun.

However, it wasn’t long before it all combined to wear me out.  I was ready to go.  The kids were ready as well.  Their tiredness shown by lethargy or over-hyperness.  We boarded the bus to go back.  So we didn’t get to see and do everything, but I think ending on a good note and having fun is more important that checking every box of things to do.

Leaving the show was easy, especially since I decided to kid-nap Julie and make her go out to a late lunch/early dinner with me, so we just left post instead of trying to get from the parking area back to the residential part of post.  So I got my Mexican I had been craving last night.

I’m going to start out today by being very honest.  Not that I don’t always tell the truth, but tonight I will tell the ugly side of the truth.  Right now I really don’t want to be writing.  It’s late, I’m tired, I have a headache, and I’m sore from trying to step up my work-out.  While I’m on the topic of things I don’t currently want to do, I don’t want to go to Arctic Thunder tomorrow.  I don’t want to get up early, I don’t want to deal with the crowds, I don’t want to spend the whole day in the sun, I don’t want to carry around a heavy purse full of sunscreen, earplugs, and whatever else will be needed throughout the day as my car will likely be miles away from where I will be, and I don’t want to deal with the traffic.  I know exactly what I want to do right now.  I want to curl up in bed, watch tv, and eat Gummy Bears.  And tomorrow I want to sleep in late, go eat Mexican for lunch, and generally not do much.

But I must ask is that what I really want.  Are those my only goals and aspirations for my life?  Are those good, healthy plans?  And is that what I want my kids to remember of their childhood?  Or do I want more?

I yearn to write.  I have mentally written posts all week, for both of my blogs.  I have something worth saying.  I have a story worth telling.  If I don’t write it, how can it ever get said.  I do not want to wake up fifty years from now and regret never telling my story.  I will regret never saying what I have to say.  And by then I certainly won’t remember it, so it will be lost.  However, I won’t regret what I’m missing on tv.  I already missed the Olympics opening.  Can’t say I’m happy that I missed that, but I can say I’m very glad I went to Celebrate Recovery instead, it was the better option.  So I need to start writing.  And what better time to start than right now?

I may actually regret the Gummy Bears months from now when I’m trying to look cute on the beach in Hawaii.  It’s probably a good thing there aren’t even any in the house at this time.

The air show will be very cool.  Yes, it will wear me out, but there will be so much cool stuff there, and I know I’ll have a lot of fun.  And it’s not like I can just go any time.  This is a once every two years event.  Hence the crowd I dread.  If I didn’t go, I’d be depriving my kids of a cool opportunity.  Lazy Saturdays abound in their life.  Air shows are a unique event where they will have fun and have the opportunity to learn some stuff.  I want my kids to remember doing cool stuff as children when they grow up.  I want them to have great memories.  This will be a great memory.  We will all have fun.  I’m sure of it.

So I’m deciding tonight which are the more important wants.  The wants to be lazy and comfortable.  Or the wants to do something more, even if it isn’t always comfortable.  As I make the decision, I will also make the decision to be happy.  To remember the choices I’ve made aren’t the most comfortable, but they are the choices with the best benefits.  To be happy even as my bed calls, knowing that I will be there soon with the sweet knowledge that I’ve accomplished something that is important to me before I sleep.  To be happy in the midst of confusing crowds and chaos all while the sun quite probably beats down, knowing the reason for the crowd and chaos is that we all want to see some really cool stuff, remembering that sunshine makes for a more fun day outdoors than rain.

I must say I love Celebrate Recovery.  I love it.  I’m so glad that my natural inclination to go to every event the church offers brought me there.  I honestly can’t say that I would have gone for any other reason that it was there, therefore I was supposed to go.

I certainly didn’t think I needed to go.  It was for people “recovering” from something.  What did I have to recover from (except myself)?  It was for people with big problems, mine were to small (not that I seem to be able to manage my “small” problems).  I can fix anything that needs fixing by myself (insert snort of repressed laughter here knowing that as much as I believed that it was a complete lie).  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard the talk about how it was for everyone.  Yes, I heard our pastor say it was for dealing with “hurts, habits, and hang-ups”  that everyone has.  But in my all-knowing wisdom I read that as code for “we don’t want to exclude anyone with real problems.”  Really for everyone, though?  I couldn’t believe that.  Certainly not for me.

I just knew it was all going to be way too hokey for me.  “Hi, I’m Lori and here are all my problems.”  “Hi Lori.”  And catchy little phrases like “Keep coming back, it works if you work it.”  And the coins, I’m so beyond needing little trinkets.  I just knew I would feel like I was back in 6th grade or something.

The plan was to go the first week because I felt obligated, and if it was as bad I just knew it would be, my Friday nights would be freed up for all my awesome plans.

We’ll start off with I so need it.  It’s not like I don’t have an online diary in which the world can see I have issues.  You know like the one about being so prideful that I can do it all myself I cried when I had to ask for help.  Nope not a hang up at all.  And then there’sthe days I didn’t write because all I could think about was how much I messed up, and how I didn’t feel like admitting how low I’d got.  Ooh, that would fall under habits.  As for hurts, I’ve got my share of those too.  Before I went I knew I was a mess, but I was sure I could fix it.  I had a plan, if only I could do X, Y, and Z and juggle A, B, and C I could get myself out of the mess.  But I’ve had a plan my whole life.  You’d think after thirty-odd years I’d get that my plans don’t work.  Sometimes they even lead to more hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  So while it may have been corny, there was freedom admitting I can’t do this.  I can’t fix myself.

And yes, it does sometimes feel very much sixth grade.  The youth group singing goofy songs around the campfire and everyone feeling like they belong sixth grade.  The having a club with silly rituals that make you feel like you really belong kind of sixth grade.  And the coins.  I’ll admit, I never got one.  I over-analyzed it at first.  Wasn’t sure if I was even in recovery yet, or had been for a while, or what.  After the first night, I didn’t feel like making a big deal over getting the first-timers coin on a time that wasn’t my first time.  And after several months, it’s not about the coin.  I could take them or leave them.  But what I really missed out on was the hug.  Taking the coin would have been worth that.  That physical acknowledgement that we are now both on the same path toward getting better, toward getting closer to God and toward becoming more the people He made us to be.  The hokieness has turned to coziness.  A sense that I really belong with these people.

As far as the people go, we all belong together.  No one is better, no one is less.  No one’s problems are less deserving of help than the rest.  And we are all there to get better.  To become better.

The totally cool Friday night plans I might be missing if I didn’t go never really existed.  And now I get to hang with a bunch of people who really care about me.  Who want to see me succeed.  And knowing I’ll be going, I make better decisions during the week, knowing that we’ll be talking about our stuff, wanting to give a good report and not wanting to admit defeat.  I now get excited that Friday is coming, I get to go to CR.

 

So today I prayed 60 seconds for my Nineveh.  I set the timer.  When I did it, I thought I really didn’t need it, I’d probably go over.  While shy, once I start talking it’s hard to get me to stop.  And sixty seconds is nothing.  Yeah, that’s what I thought, until I prayed all the praying for (as opposed to praying about) I could think of, checked the timer out of the corner of my eye, and saw I still had thirty seconds left.  I’ll admit it was hard today.  Especially since in the spirit of the challenge I was trying to be good.  Trying to just pray for them, and pray for God to do His will in their lives, instead of telling God all the things that I felt could fix some of their issues.  Can’t seem to fix my own life, but when it comes to everyone else, I seem to have all the answers.  So one day down, six more to go.

Today was a tough day to get through.  I don’t know exactly why, although I have some suspicions that my eating and sleeping habits of the previous week may have been contributing factors.  But I managed to slog through somehow.  I did some laundry, not enough, but we all have clean clothes to wear tomorrow.  The kids did their schoolwork.  Xavier with no complaints.  I’m still in shock over that one.  Clara with much exuberance and little direction following.  And getting her to follow directions is all I’m after for the next couple months.  Learning will happen much easier if we can get her to follow directions.  Sigh.  Austin did very well.  I made dinner.  That one needs to be celebrated a bit.  It was every so very tempting to head down to A&W and get some super yummy fast food.  But we needed to eat something more nutritious.  Plus, I want to save up our money for some other things right now.  Eating out was not a good option, and I know it wouldn’t really have made me feel more like getting through the evening.  I must say it was really, very tempting tonight though.  Right before I started dinner, Xavier got the mail, and I received a letter saying that I needed to resubmit my paperwork to the state showing I had insurance from the accident in November.  It’s really not a big deal, I did have insurance, I just need to refile some paperwork, this time making copies and sending it requiring signature upon receipt.  Which, honestly, I should have done in the first place.  Lesson learned.  I have plenty of time to get the paperwork in, and like I said, not so much a big deal.  But at the time it felt like a big, huge deal.  And I was sure cheese curds, root beer, and a turtle sundae would make me feel better.  I couldn’t very well go though, not after last Friday’s Celebrate Recovery, where we discussed how leaning on our own understanding lead to problems, and we need to rely on God.  So I prayed, and cooked dinner at home.  I was rewarded later on, by something that always makes me feel better.  Chase called.  He made me laugh, I got to hear him talk with the kids, and everything was better.  In all, today really was a success.  I didn’t get everything done, but I took care of what was really important.  Made better decisions.  And tomorrow is a fresh new day.  Here’s to tomorrow.

Okay, I’ve gotten used to the whole Pastor Kenny gives the sermon at church and I find at least one area in my life that needs some changing.  I’ve come to expect it now.  So I was quite prepared for the last sermon series, all preached by Kenny, to be life-changing.  And yes, I have found some things I need to look at differently, things I need to do differently, and things that need to change.  At the end of the three weeks though I was pretty happy.  Nothing too hard was going on.  Maybe uncomfortable, definitely some extra work, but all doable and all leading to eventual fun.  And this week Pastor Rod was back, beginning a new series on Jonah.  I could sit back, learn something new and work on the fun stuff from the previous weeks.

I know God laughs at me.  It’s okay, I get the joke, and I’d be laughing at my kids if they did the same things I do.  He was so laughing at me as I prepared for this morning.

The sermon wasn’t too bad.  Some ouches, some pricks, a lot of note taking because there were a lot of good things said.  But I was not prepared in the least for the challenge waiting for me in the envelope.  Not prepared in the least.

Some background before I get to what the challenge was.  This last week I have really seen how there are a few people for whom my heart is just not in the right place.  My thoughts and attitudes toward them are just all out of wack.  I can justify and give reasons why that’s okay, but in the past week I have seen how those reasons just fall short.  There is something wrong in my heart, and I need to get it right.  But I didn’t know how to do that.  I was thinking maybe I’d pray and God would just give me a right heart.  You know a magical transformation, all of a sudden, poof, my heart would be fixed.  Hahaha, I really should have know better.  I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.  During the sermon these people hit my mind with a vengeance.  Pastor Rod talked about Jonah escaping to Tarshish, a land where no one knew God.  He related that to modern life.  How when we are in sin we don’t want to hang with our Christian friends, who might shed light on our mess, so we hang with those people who won’t see our sin as sin.  I could relate, wanting to talk to someone who would help bash people, instead of wanting to talk to someone who would check my words.

60:7 challenge.  Pray for your Nineveh for sixty seconds a day for the next 7 days.  And not only that, do something for them.  By Nineveh Pastor Rod basically meant someone for whom your heart isn’t in the right place, sound familiar?  First off, I don’t want to pray for them, I want to pray about them.  Basically, I want to gossip with God and then ask Him to change my heart.  (Never said I had a smart plan on this one).  And then do something for them.  Really??

Ever heard the saying “be careful what you pray for, you just might get it”?  I think that totally applies to my day.

This weekend is the Bear Paw festival in Eagle River.  I guess it’s like our little equivalent of a county fair.  There is a parade, contests (not sure what all kind, but I am aware that they have a swing dancing contest and Odoreaters sponsors a stinky shoe contest), there are booths for local vendors and local candidates, and rides.  There are bands, food, and other stuff I’m sure.

Yesterday I got a call from Julie.  I nearly shouted with joy when she said she wasn’t feeling like going to the gym to work out.  I didn’t feel well Thursday and really wasn’t sure I’d be up for physical toning on Friday.  Instead, she was thinking about going to the Bear Paw festival.  I was happy to go with her.  First we walked through all the booths.  They didn’t have quite the art presence that we saw last year at the state fair.  It was mostly jewelry and cloths, and one tent full of cheap toys made in China. Plus realtors, credit unions and politicians.  At the festival JBER brought a bunch of bounce thingamajigs.  They weren’t houses, one was a boxing ring, another a “training course” (I thought it looked like something inspired by American Gladiator, the boys were thinking American Ninja Warrior, generation gap there), a climbing wall, and football and basketball throw thingys.  The coolest thing about the bouncy thingamajigs was that they were free.  Yay for something at a fair that I didn’t have to pay for.  The kids could have played on the “training course” all day long.  I lost count how many times they went through it.  I let the boys do the climbing wall once, but only once.  Clara was too small to do it, and didn’t understand why she couldn’t go too.  Plus, it was the one bounce thingamajig that really had a line.  Finally, we went over to the carnival rides.  It’s amazing how quickly the tickets run out with three kids and one adult (even though I only rode the ferris wheel).  Before long we were back to the JBER bounce area.  Before we left, I had to visit one booth with Clara.  There was one booth doing Princess Make-overs and an actually reasonable price.  They had tutus, bling, wings, halos, tiaras, nail-painting, and hair color.  I thought it was so cool.  And I thought Clara would love it.  But all day, I kept asking if she wanted to go, and all day her answer was no.  Finally, Julie and I decided to just take her on over.  We both knew that my girly little girl really did want a tutu and wings.  We got there and Clara was in tears, she didn’t want anything.  I think she was just overwhelmed by all they had going on.  But then we got to the bling area.  She had no problem picking out a necklace, bracelet, ring, and stick-on earrings.  She also found a “Super Power,” Clara translation: wand.  However, she still was saying no to everything else.  I wasn’t leaving without one of the tutus and halos though, but I decided if she didn’t want wings, I didn’t want to carry them.  After we paid and got out of the tent, she showed her true colors and wanted to put on the tutu and halo.  She ran to show her brothers and Miss Julie how beautiful she was.  Xavier looked at her and asked where her wings were.  All the sudden she also wanted to know where her wings were.  Being the push-over Mommy I am, we trooped back and got her some wings.  Being that she didn’t get her nails or hair done at the tent, I stayed up late painting nails and putting in hair curlers so that she could get the complete make-over experience.

We were back today.  Walked down to the main street just in time to get a seat on the sidewalk right before the parade started.  We have been to a parade in Alaska before, but I’d forgotten a very needed thing for attending Alaskan parades: loot bags for all the kids.  At least three-quarters of the parade participants threw candy.  Although our section of the parade route was sparsely populated, so candy was just poured into each child’s bag.  Except my kids didn’t have bags.  It didn’t stop anyone from giving to my kids.  Candy was poured into my boys outstretched hands.  Clara simply had candy dumped into her lap, I think she got extra from being so cute.  She was all decked out for today, curly hair, glitter make-up and the whole get-up from yesterday.  It was particularly funny seeing the royal court pass by.  At least half of the girls pointed out my little girl to their riding companion.  Then we were off to get lunch.  Here I have to say, my kids are the best kids ever.  Today was a zillion times more crowded than yesterday.  Between the food tents there was barely room to breathe, much less move.  It felt like me and my three little people against the world.  After after I had procured lunch, I became handless.  With my hands full of pizza and baked potato I could not steer, nor guide, nor control my little people.  Before braving the crowd, I briefed the kids on how to stay together and what to do if separated.  The kids were awesome and made it past the swarms of people into open spaces with all four of us as a group.  When they have to, my kids totally rock.  After we ate I was so glad we had come the day before as I looked at the lines for the bouncy thingamajigs.  The lines were so very long.  But the kids had done it all the day before.  So we made our way to the tent our church sponsored.  Our church decided to provide a tent with changing tables and rocking chairs for parents of little children.  As a mom, even before I worked the tent, I could see how very cool that was.  It was cool getting to work the tent for a couple of hours and see the relieved moms who had a space to change or nurse their babies.  I was surprised though when several people asked if we were charging.  One couple was just as surprised at the answer as I was at the question.  (It was free to use by the way, we weren’t even taking donations, it was just a service to our community.)  One of the other workers took pity on my boys, who were having a hard time being patient for my shift to be over so they could join the festivities again.  He took them to the “training course.”  When they returned, Xavier began a minute by minute countdown to when we got to ride rides.  The kids each got to ride a couple more rides, play a couple more games, then we rode the ferris wheel one last time.  By then we were all exhausted.  It was dinner time.  I had initially planned to eat at the fair, but the thought of facing the crowd at the food tents was daunting to this tired mother of three.  So instead we walked to Arby’s.  The food gave us just enough energy to trek back home.

The kids keep asking if we will do it again tomorrow.  Hahahaha.  It was fun, but I am done with the Bear Paw festival.  However, I am eagerly anticipating the State Fair.

I almost don’t want to write tonight.  I’m tired, cranky, and crabby, but I’ve had a wonderful day and I don’t want my current blechiness to distort the fact that today was really a good day.

My day started of abnormally early. That would be abnormally for this house, while many people I know think waking up at 7 is a luxury of sleeping in, I find it to be an evil hour.  I have never been a morning person, and I am ever thankful for a Calculus professor who never minded that I fell asleep during his 8 am class.  May I insert here that 8 am is a horrible hour for a math class?  One’s brain should be awake for formulas and computations.  Anyway, I was up at 7 this morning.  And I was all by myself.  I’m actually thankful for the little visitor I woke up for though.  If it were not for her, who knows how many times I would have hit the snooze and how late I would have slept in.  I was able to get up and get breakfast and do my personal Bible study before starting school with the kids.  Yep, we are back to school.  I don’t know how teachers and parents do the whole taking the summer off thing.  Over only two weeks off, my kids regressed immensely.  On the behavioral and being sloppy aspects, fortunately they had retained all previous learning.  Our poor, little visitor didn’t understand the concept of year-round school.  She was desperate to do the summer thing and play outdoors.  But we couldn’t go out until the boys finished their school work.  She waited patiently, and was finally rewarded.  Again, I must thank her here for sending me outside.  I was able to have fun and play in my garden as I watched her and Clara play.  I dead-headed my rose bush while I inhaled the intoxicating fragrance the remaining blooms gave off.  I am truly in love with that rose bush.  She is right now in all her glory, luxurious blooms abounding.  I will someday plant her sisters, someday.  I have big plans for my gardens, but not big time to spend in them.

So after all that and working out, why am I cranky instead of relishing in all my accomplishments of the day?  We’ll start with dinner.  I made spaghetti.  I love spaghetti, but today it went all wrong.  I bought a new brand of spaghetti, and instead of watching it and testing for doneness regularly, I just set the timer for the time it said on the box.  The box was way off and I got to eat mushy noodles.  Then the sauce, I forgot which flavor was horrid and bought that one.  I thought it was new until I tasted it and remembered I’d suffered through it before.  After that I was flat exhausted.  I could have fallen asleep for the night at 6.  Instead, I thought I’d try to get in one last big accomplishment for the day and make cupcakes.  I’m trying to create a recipe for a honey spice cupcake.  The last time I tried they were rather good, but missing something.  Tonight, they were rather awful.  At least with me not liking them I won’t eat as many, and that’s probably better for me in the long run.  Especially since I do want to at least try to be looking better when my husband returns in three months.  While hunger doesn’t affect my mood much, it just makes me tired, crappy food affects me very much.  I’d rather go without a meal than eat one that doesn’t live up to my expectations.  So now I’m quite cranky.  So I’m going to bed.  Tomorrow is another day, one in which if dinner sucks we’ll toss it and order pizza.

Today, I had a really hard time getting started.  Part of it was plain old readjustment stuff.  I could not fall asleep last night.  I was exhausted, but just couldn’t sleep.  Finally at about 2 I realized how futile everything I was trying was and took a sleeping aid.  I probably should have tried that a lot earlier, but I worry so much about becoming reliant upon the pills that it’s often morning before I’ll take them.  I was so tired and it had been so long since I’ve used one, I forgot that I normally only take a half dose.  I got an excellent night’s sleep, or morning’s sleep, but I didn’t wake up until much later than I had originally planned.  But the kid’s needed their sleep too.  Austin and Clara slept in just as long as I did.

Having had a great night’s sleep, I should have awoke refreshed and ready to start the day.  Instead I choose to be whiny and complainy.  Instead of tackling my to-do list, I was cranky that yesterday wasn’t the self-indulgent day I had originally planned.  I just wanted to go over to Julie’s and complain about all the things that annoy me.  The whinier I got, the less motivated I was and the worse I felt.  After an hour, it hit me.  My crappy thoughts were not helping me have a better day.  They were not helping me get stuff done.  They were pulling me down.  I put some Christian music on my I-Pod and decided that I was no longer going to entertain crappy thoughts.

After that it didn’t take long before I had done what I had to do around the house.  I decided to take the kids to an early dinner before grocery shopping.  We had a great time.  Then we went to the library and got our fill of movies, music, games, and books.  We will be too entertained to get too sad for the next three months (as long as we keep hitting the library).  Then the grocery store.  I purposely didn’t go yesterday, knowing that my mood would cause me to buy more snacks than we need.  I worried that I would hit the snack aisle hard today, but after a fun dinner and good time at the library, I was able to limit my indulgences to a Butterfinger at the check out counter.  I will not be able to try to eat my sadness away, we’ve only got good food in this house.  No chips, no extra candy, no random junk food.  If I want a snack I’ve got fruit, dried fruit, and nuts.

We got home with time for the kids to play some Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii before America’s Got Talent.  So we had a very fun evening.  I even set up a special e-mail account for Xavier to be able to e-mail his dad.  This day that started off rocky due to a bad attitude, ended up being a great evening with my family because I made the choice to change my attitude.