Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Love Dare Day 7: Believing the Best

You know, all I had to do was read the title of Day 7 of the Love Dare and I cringed. I can believe the best about pretty much anyone. Anyone but men who are close to me. My experience says that men have an agenda and I can only believe the best “so far”.

Enter Fred who seems entirely different than any men I’ve had as an intimate part of my life. He’s one of the good guys. He’s attentive, and sweet, and kind, and gentle in spirit. My list can go on and on (and it will in a bit), but…but, little things have happened consistently over the course of our relationship that have led me away from always believing the best. We’re working on it.

Believing the best, at least for me, also involves a certain amount of trust. I trust anyone, until I can’t. Lose trust with me, have a fun time trying to get it back. Especially if you’re the man in my life. It’s an uphill battle. That’s what happens when you date a woman who’s had nothing but hurt and disappointment from the men in her life.

With all of that delightful stuff out of the way, let’s discuss chapter 7. Today the authors talk about two rooms in our hearts. One is the appreciation room. The room where when we met the person we love, we wrote all kinds of wonderful things on the walls of that room about that person.

Whatever is true[4]

So like I mentioned above, “Awww he really loves his kids”, “He’s so attentive and texts me so much”, “What a sweet heart for God”, and so on. Those are all very true things and only scratching the surface of the things I wrote on the appreciation room wall about Fred.

Then there’s room two. That room is the depreciation room. This is the room where we write the not so great stuff about our loved one. “Why can’t he keep track of his schedule?” “Why can’t he remember what’s important to me?” “He’s so inconsiderate of my needs” and on and on. The problem is, I can visit this room more often than the appreciation room.

Oh, and if he’s totally ticked me off, I’ll hang out in the depreciation room for quite some time. Looking around at all of the things written on the walls and fortifying my feelings. This room reminds me of how “right” I am and how “wrong” he is. It also reminds me of all the other things he’s done or not done or how he thinks and it helps bolster my resolve to stay in that cruddy place.

On a different personal note about this room, this room is comfortable for me. It’s a false protection for me. In this room I’m safe. This room helps me to build walls that keep “hurtful” people out. This can be my unhealthy comfort zone.

If I spend too much time in the appreciation room, someone, like Fred, could get one over on me. They have the potential of getting too close and hurting me in the same way I’ve been hurt before. I feel na├»ve in that room, vulnerable.

The thing is, the appreciation room is true about Fred and others, too. People aren’t only a depreciation room. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Fred if all he was, was all of the bad things. I just lose site of those things when I’m hurt. When things build up, when he does the same thing over and over again, I disregard the appreciation room and all of the good things I know about Fred.

Depreciation Room[4]

We’re encouraged to move into the appreciation room. We have to make that decision. Trust me, it won’t be an easy decision for me. I’m going to have to be intentional. I like that the authors, and God, understand that the depreciation room exists. It’s there. For all of us. We just need to focus on the positive. Spend more time appreciating instead of depreciating. Easier said than done. I know.

So, my task now is to make two lists. One is about all of the positive things about Fred and one about all of the negative things. After I write my list, I’m supposed to put the lists away for a future Day in this journey.

Where do you spend the most time? The Appreciation or Depreciation Room?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Love Dare Day 6: Irritable

I’ve decided that God gave Stephen and Alex Kendrick a prophetic word to write the Love Dare because He knew I’d need it some day. God just left out the part that said, “Dedicate it to Mimi.”

I’m on Day 6 and for goodness sakes, it’s getting ridiculous. The first paragraph once again is me in a nutshell. Now, I don’t go looking for opportunities to get irritated with Fred. They just show up on a very regular basis on my doorstep delivered on a silver platter.

Locked and Loaded[5]

Unfortunately, I take many of those opportunities to tell Fred exactly what I think. I don’t live life in a state of irritability, I can just get to that point in the blink of an eye. Especially if it’s the same stuff, different day. I do have the rare occasion where I react pleasantly, but I’m not characterized by that.

Now, I’ll admit, stress definitely heightens my irritability. I think it does for most people. Not Fred, at least not outwardly like me. He’s more of a stuffer. One of the things that would be a good skill to learn and employ is praying through my stress instead of tackling it on my own. That tends to be when I get in the most trouble. Going about something on my own, at the moment, based on how I feel.

Today we’re supposed to react in loving ways instead of with irritation. Today, and every other day, that means I have to seriously be intentional about it. I’m NOT good at all with being intentional in a loving way. Well, at least not in this way, a gentler way. I’m supposed to find a way to add margin to my schedule (oy vey) and to list wrong motivations I need to release from my life.

One margin I need is to not be working so late into the night. I need to try and get a bulk of my work done during the day so I have time to sit back an relax, clean, blog, etc. Just not work. Fred and I aren’t together every night so it’s mostly having free time with my boys here. I’m not 100% sure about wrong motivations. That one has me stumped.

One of the prompting questions is “When have you recently overreacted?” smh Oh, how about yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. I think about one of the ways in which I reacted to some information I received and I know I was harsh, but I also know it’s a bigger issue that doesn’t need to necessarily be dealt with, but where we come to a place of understanding. Sometimes when you see things differently than someone else, that’s where compromise or understanding comes in.

Strive[4]

Would your loved one classify you as an irritable person?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

The Love Dare Day 5: Don’t Be Rude

Let me tell you something about Day 5 of the Love Dare. Fred exemplifies not being rude. He would never say anything off handed, off color, or downright mean about someone in front of another person. Even in private it’s more along the lines of, “she makes me mad.” Nothing at all like I’d say.

I believe one of the things I need to be mindful about is how I talk about him to others, even “jokingly”. I might be joking around by sort of cutting him down in front of our friends and making it sound funny, but for real? Is that funny? I’m definitely NOT characterized by this, but I know I could be. I could take my sarcasm too far and hurt Fred.

Also, do you know someone who is constantly quarrelsome? And I don’t mean look at me or point at me when you think of that someone. Think of someone else. Not Me!

Quarrelsome[5]

I have become quarrelsome. blech Fred is constantly wondering what the next thing I’m going to gripe about will be. What will I be annoyed with. What has he done to upset me? What can’t he do right? If you can think of it, he’s probably wondered it in regards to me.

I don’t WANT to be that way, but that’s what I’ve become. I can blame it on any number of “rational” reasons, but in the end, it hasn’t done one lick of good. The only success I’ve had with my quarreling is push Fred away. Not the kind of success I want to brag about.

Genuine Love

I know this chapter talks about how we can be ignorant which then leads to being self-centered.  I see how unpleasant I can be to “live with” or date, but usually it’s not until AFTER the damage has been done. There’s a little test, 4 short questions and I would have to honestly say I failed at the questions. I’m definitely NOT lying to myself thinking that I don’t need to change in this area. I have a lot to learn from Fred about not being rude!

So, I got to ask Fred what 3 things cause him to be irritated and uncomfortable with me. He didn’t say anything that I expected. For me, I figured he would’ve taken it as a free for all to let me know exactly what he thought. He didn’t. Seriously, the dude never ceases to amaze me and be an example to me. Kinda pisses me off sometimes, but in a good way because it shows me where I need to grow. He can be a very good example, to say the least. =)

Do you ever find yourself being rude to your loved one? How do they respond?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Saturday, April 26, 2014

the Love Dare Day 4: I’m Thinking of You

As I’m reading this book, the Love Dare, I wish I could share every little nugget here with you. There’s so much relational wisdom and understanding. Today is about love being thoughtful.

I remember when Fred and I first met. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. He was always on my mind. You know what though? That hasn’t changed. Not even in the slightest. I wake up and my first thought is about him. I think about him throughout the day and my last thought is usually about him.

He and I are in a relationship. We’re not married, but we began dating with marriage in mind. He started off by calling it our “one day”. Ladies, aren’t we always giddy when our men are the ones who bring up things of love and the future? Once you’re in that relationship, you have to remember, “…if your thinking doesn’t mature enough to constantly include this person, you catch yourself being surprised rather than being thoughtful.”

Be thoughtful[4]

Now I have to say that because of my love for Fred and my heart wants to be with him all of the time, I try to always include him in everything. If he’s busy during his work day, I try to be considerate and not interrupt. I wait for him to text me or Skype me letting me know he’s available. Other than that, I always want him around. He knows this. I ask him for it regularly.

Not only that, I try not to make him read my mind. There are times when I want him to “figure it out”, for him to read through the lines, but for the most part, I tell him exactly what I want or need, especially in regards to our relationship. After I do spell it out for him, I wait and give him opportunity.

Another part to being thoughtful is how I communicate. I can be a rather intense person when I’m trying to get my thoughts and emotions shared. Being thoughtful of my relationship with Fred, I need to think so much more before I open my mouth and let the bullets fly. Even when I think I’m justified in what I’m saying, even if it’s “right”, I have to be thoughtful of our relationship. THIS will be extremely hard for me. I don’t do well AT. ALL. holding things back.

I have so much room to grow it isn’t funny!

So, for Day 4, we’re supposed to contact our sweetheart with no agenda and see what need we can fill, what can we do for them.

I kind of had an idea of what I could do for him already, something that was tangible and helpful. With his new business he has a Twitter account that was suspended from being used. I wasn’t sure if he’d had time to get it figured out and if he hadn’t I was going to get it fixed for him.

Sure enough, he hadn’t gotten it fixed and I asked him if he’d like me to do some work with it. Thankfully he accepted my help! It really felt so good to be able to do something like this for him since he’s just getting his business started. I want to help him succeed. To come along side him and encourage him and assist him whenever I can.

I tell you what, being thoughtful doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. It does take consideration and effort. And if you love the person you want or are spending your life with, they should be totally worth it.

How has your loved one seen your thoughtfulness in action lately?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Love Dare: Being & Doing

Ok, the last couple of days have been really busy. I’ve been “doing” the Love Dare by going to Fred’s house and planting some flowers in his “garden”. Yea, ok, he doesn’t really have a garden. It’s just dirt in front of his house with plants/bushes plopped in it. Not at all what I’d want. I’m all about perennials!

Garden Gift[6]

So, for Day 2 I was supposed to do a random act of kindness and Day 3 I was supposed to buy something that said, “I was thinking of you today.” Something that helps me be not selfish. I have a 2nd part of Day 3 that I still need to do and I told Fred I’d be doing it Friday night while he’s at his Elder meeting.

As I mentioned the other day, Fred loves seafood. Like, in a crazy way. If he could live off the stuff and never eat anything else, he’d be a happy camper. I remembered we’d passed the place he has catered for and gets his seafood fresh, but for the life of me couldn’t remember where it was. I remember the city it’s in, but sheesh, it’s a big place. Turns out it was down a road I didn’t take, of course!

Fred's dinner[9]

I ended up getting him some asparagus and fresh shrimp. I was really super bummed I couldn’t find crab legs, which would’ve rounded out his seafood meal. Next time.

Now I have one more thing to bless Fred, but it’s raining and yea, I won’t be doing my one more thing until it’s dry out. I’m more than a bit disappointed.

I have to be honest, it’s hard not to slip back into my usual habits. I’ve also realized some stuff about my relationship with Fred that have been hard. It’s something we’re both going to have to work through. I mean, we’ve got more than one thing to work on. Like he said today, “it’s kind of like gas in a car. Filling only part of the tank gets only so far. Our tank is pretty empty.”

He’s right. We need to fill it up with a lot more positive “gas”. Man, I seriously need to get better at this whole loving and being selfless thing!

In what ways do you fill up the positive in your relationship?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Play Ball

His first game of the year!

2 walks, 2 runs
baseball[5]
Making the Score
Be sure to visit Full Time Mama, too!

The Love Dare Day 3: Don’t Be So Selfish

Do you ever read something, something that’s not good and you can totally relate? It’s a reflection of you? Ish, that was me today reading the first paragraph in the Love Dare. I’ve never felt like I was high maintenance, and I’m not in the physical sense. I don’t need a lot. Emotionally though, I can’t say that same thing.

I’m “more needy, overly sensitive, demanding.” I judge others harshly while being blind to my own faults.

No, I’m not that way all of the time. It’s when I’m living in my black and white world. And I don’t, at the time, see it as being selfish. I just see something “wrong” and want it fixed…my way…by being demanding. Because, you know, if it was done the “right way” (my way) everything would be SO much better. Are you shaking your head at me like I am? Truly my intentions are good. Really, they are.

Selfish Ambition[4]

Not living selfishly means I put the happiness of Fred before my own. Sounds easy, right? Try, not so much. How about a bit of honesty? Putting Fred’s happiness ahead of my own feels like I’ll become a doormat to all of the drama in his life. That there won’t be anyone fighting for the “right” in his or our lives. That I’ll then become his ex wife’s and his kids’ newest person to crush. That’s how I feel. It freaks me out.

But, selfishness is me letting go of my “right” and putting others’ needs ahead of my own. My “right” says, “He should be texting me now”, “He should want to spend time with me without me always asking” “He should parent this way or that”. Putting his needs ahead of mine means not asking to spend time with him even if he doesn’t ask and not getting mad, believing he’s just too busy to text and he will when he can, or backing off and letting him parent the way he feels works for his kids.

I can guarantee you that I won’t ever become a doormat. That’s just not my personality, BUT, I can try letting go of my selfishness which might give me the opportunity to look at the world around me differently which might give me a way to handle situations differently. Go figure. Hey, maybe I don’t have to be a tyrant!

I absolutely want to be liberated from the anxiety of unrealistic expectations and unmet demands. Does Fred need to step up in some areas? Yes, he does, I’m saying that to you, the reader because I don’t want you to think Fred has no part in our relationship. This is about ME though. How I’M living my life in regards to him, and ultimately in regards to his kids.

So today’s activity bounces off of yesterday’s and goes hand in hand. He’ll find these things out after he gets home and no sooner.

How do you live unselfishly towards your loved one? Do you consider what your loved one needs?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Monday, April 21, 2014

the Love Dare Day 2: Showing Kindness

Today started off emotionally for me. Things have changed in my relationship with Fred. Right now I’m doing this Love Dare in the hopes I’ll be able to salvage our relationship. That is one of the goals. The other goal is to simply love better, in general.

When you do the Dare, you have to go in without any expectations. I don’t know if this will “work” for us, but I have to give it a try. Fred is worth it.

Yesterday I had to be patient. It was NOT easy. Today I’ve had to be patient and show kindness. It’s a bit hard to do this Dare and not have Fred know the things I’m doing because he reads my blog. So, I’m not going to show pictures today of the Dare results because then he’d know about my kindness. On top of that, today’s Dare will be in two parts.

Fruits of the Spirit[4]

I’ll let you know, being patient hasn’t been easy for me both of these days. Yesterday I didn’t hear from him for four hours. You might roll your eyes, but he and I talk constantly. Con.Stant.Ly. Four hours that had my mind spinning and struggling and wrestling emotionally. We talk all of the time. He had his kids this weekend off and on since it was Easter weekend.

Of course, because his kids are part of what we’re struggling with, not talking to him felt like he was fortifying his time alone with his kids. That they were spending this weekend closing even more in on themselves. That brings out the fear in me because it makes me feel like we’re being pushed out even more. The fear makes me impatient. My emotions go wild.

Yesterday though, I couldn’t do anything. I had to wait. I couldn’t say anything. I just had to put it aside. It wasn’t easy. He and I went to bed on somewhat uneasy terms.

Today again there’s been very little communication. Maybe it’s his way of testing me. Maybe it’s his way of pulling further away. There are a million maybes in my head. Yet I wait. No pushing. No impatience except for what’s in my heart and my mind. Nothing directed towards him.

Kindness The Love Dare[4]

We had an issue come up and I wasn’t mad like I usually am. I was extremely sad. Once again, I’ve come up on the short end of the Fred stick. It had me in tears. I tried to communicating without getting angry and having a short fuse. Today it was “easy” to communicate it that way. I don’t know if it’s because God is already changing my heart or just because of the situation.

Today kindness was the new focus. It had 4 core parts and with the issue above, I used the 2nd core of gentleness. When I was telling Fred something hard, how I was hurt, I tried to make it as easy as possible to hear. I don’t know that it was gentle, but it was honest. I wasn’t trying to be hurtful. Speaking of patience, I waited two hours before I texted him to see if he had even gotten my text, which he had. I’m trying to get used to this, the lessened communication. Not easy.

I’ve got so much growing to do through all of this. Personally I have a lot to learn. When I was thinking about my kindness towards Fred today I initially thought of what I could do for him, and realized that it was something I wanted to do. So, I’m doing two things, a kindness that I know he’d appreciate and a kindness that I wanted to do for him. lol I can do that, right? =) The second part will come tomorrow (fingers crossed).

How do you show kindness to your loved one?

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

He’s Infiltrated My Life

Have you ever spent so much time with someone that they’ve infiltrated your life before you know it?

The last couple of days I realized how much Fred has woven his way into my life. Probably more than any other man ever has.

My-thoughts4

Tonight for dinner, mom made steak. If you’ve never tried Fred’s grilled steak, you haven’t lived. He’s so great at grilling. He’s a great cook. He also loves asparagus and corn. I always feel bad because he’s always cooking for us. I’m not sure if he doesn’t like my cooking or if he just enjoys doing it himself. I definitely luck out no matter what.

Grilling4

I went into Whole Foods to pick up a gift card for my brother’s girlfriend. Whole Foods is Fred. The only reason I ever went into one was because of him. It’s where he worked when I met him.

The house I’m currently living in was the house he rented before we moved in. It’s where I got to know him. It’s where we began building our relational time together.

He’s such a nerd. lol In a good way. He likes the corniest things, says stuff that everyone else would, and his dancing? Don’t even get me started. His whistle causes second glances. His jokes make you roll your eyes. And you know what, he doesn’t care in the slightest what people think of his nerdiness. More power to him.

His hands. I have always loved his hands. His fingers are so long and his hand totally engulfs mine. I look like a two year old hand next to his. And he chews his nails down to nothing. Watching a movie and seeing a man’s hands remind me of his hands. When we drive in a car, he always holds my hand.

Hands4

The scruff of his face. I love it when he has a day or two of facial hair. I can’t pass another man and not think about Fred’s face.

Do you ever watch a movie, a romance, and when the man looks at the woman, when he’s fallen in love with her, that look he gives…that’s how Fred has looked at me. Romance movies won’t ever measure up to how he looks at me. I remember clear as day after we’d had a family day together. He was wearing his black jacket, sitting between his kids, chin propped on his hands, watching me. Loving me with his eyes. The look he gave was melt worthy.

Seafood. I’m pretty sure I’ve never met another person who loves seafood as much as him. It’s amazing to watch him chow down a platter of various seafood. How could I ever look at another menu and not think of him when I saw surf & turf?

Surf-and-turf9

Music. Ok, now, I have to say, in my day to day life, I wouldn’t have much of a reminder of Fred’s music, but I tell you what, he’s got the craziest taste in music. He’s got this massive CD binder in his car that’s always threatening to land in my lap. Daniel Amos, Swirling Eddies, V. Rose, Lecrae, and this list goes on. Christian artists I’d never heard of and ones I’d never choose to play on my own, but he’s got them all. He loves them. He can’t tell you my birthday, but he can tell you when a band got together, where each of the members are from, how long they were a band and where they went off to after the band broke up.

Then there’s his Prius. This large man folding himself up daily into it and loving it. hahahaha Here I am, wanting some Ford F350 on steroids and dear, lovely Fred, happy as a clam in his hybrid. We all give him a hard time about it and he doesn’t care. He loves his car. Yes, it gets great gas mileage. That’s the only thing I’ll concede.

Waking up and going to bed. Fred is my first and my last. When I start my day 99% of the time it’s to a text that says, “good morning. love you.” He’s also usually the last person I have contact with before I go to bed with “gn. love you.”

He’s intertwined his life into mine. There’s not one part he hasn’t touched. Isn’t it amazing how one person can do that?

Have you ever had someone so deeply involved in your every day life?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Love Dare…Dating and Broken Day 1

I’ve known about the Love Dare. I’ve watched Fireproof before. I watched it again Saturday night as I sat in the midst of heartbreak. The way life going isn’t how it was “supposed” to go.

The Love Dare is for married couples and obviously we aren’t married, but, I believe it will help me learn to love him more unselfishly. I’m not sure it will do any good, but what could it hurt trying to love someone unselfishly?

Do Nothing[4]

Today is Easter. Fred and I aren’t together. I’m at my parents unable to eat and have spent the better part of the last 3 days crying. I know wah wah wah It’s just the truth.

I’m starting the Love Dare today because he and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together so the Dare will be a bit unconventional.

Day 1 is Love is Patient

You’d think it would be easy to be patient not being with Fred all of the time, but we can both tell you that isn’t the case. It’s easy for me to read into things, be unreasonably expectant for something, and to become impatient.

Being impatient has me responding in an ungodly manner. It has me snippy and crabby, blaming and angry. These are moments when Fred just can’t win. Like the book says, it “generates additional problems.”

I’ll be honest with you. I’m reading through this first chapter and keep wanting to say, “but…”, and I think the only way I can overcome this is to get rid of that “but…”. Holding on to it keeps the cycle of me wanting to be right. Fred is exemplary at patience. It infuriates me to no end. He knows this. This is where he lives in his gray. This is where I live in black and white. If I see an injustice, dang it, take care of it now! Go be the man and get this freaking problem solved. Fred just calmly walks around, saying he has everything under control. It’s mind boggling to me.

So, patience it is. Living in the gray. Not having my “rights” or “my way”. It’s like the book says, “It doesn’t rush to judgment, but puts our feelings on pause…” Listen, my feelings are NEVER on pause. Eh-VER! They’re always right there, on the surface, good or bad, ready to come out. I have never lived a life built around patience. Have I mentioned I have amazing blood pressure? =)

We aren’t together, but today will be day 1 of me trying to learn about patience in a tangible way. Of considering it at the forefront of my mind.

LiveJournal Tags: ,,,

Christ Is Risen From The Dead #Easter

Today is the day that remind Christians why we have hope. Today is our reminder of having been redeemed. Our ransom has been paid. Christ paid it all, for me, for you. If we believe in His death and resurrection, that he is the Son of God, we can have fellowship with Him on the day of judgment. There is so much promise in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are two very powerful videos. Please, listen to the words and be filled with hope today.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Living The Perfect Life

You know when you have something traumatic happen in your life and after that trauma you want to tighten the reins on your life?

Yea, that’s me.

After my ex husband and I separated I was in charge of myself and my four kids. I wanted my kids to turn out as good as possible. I didn’t want my boys to turn out like their dad. That was a huge motivation. I wanted them to be strong in their Christian faith and to have joy in their lives. I wanted them to grow up, have Christian families, and have good lives. A bit simplistic, but you get what I’m saying.

What’s wrong with that? Right? Don’t we all want our kids to grow up to be, do and have those things?

Pursue Love[4]

That all being said, I don’t have a lot of rules in our home. We have bedtimes, eating at decent times, going to church on Wednesdays and Sundays, doing homework, being respectful, etc. All of the things you expect in a family. Well, the things *I* expect in a family. On the other hand, I’m extremely lax in a lot of things. There’s a balance. Sorta.

What happens when that neat and tidy world collides with someone who doesn’t have his life all tied up in a bow like that? Someone like me tries to batten down the hatches even more. Unfortunately, that has backfired on me. I thought if we could all live within boundaries, live with rules, and respect, then we’d all be happy, right? Sheesh, how hard could that be?

Oh, well, let’s just say completely. How about holding on so tightly you choke the life out of it? I can easily say I’m a choker. I don’t want to be, but that’s what I’ve become.

Love[4]

I live in a black and white world. I have certain expectations. He lives in a gray colored world and takes life as it comes. Something he said today clicked in my head…maybe my heart? I want his kids to behave like my kids (who are FAR from perfect). If they don’t then he “has to” make them behave that way. Look at my kids, why can’t he make his kids behave the same way? Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s because I want to to tighten those reins. If he does, then everything will get better (in my mind). I don’t think wanting our kids to behave a certain way is a bad thing.

Unfortunately, it actually is. His kids can’t act that way. That’s not how they’ve been brought up for the past 12 and 14 yrs. I want his kids to behave the way my kids do and that’s just not fair.

You know, if they were kids struggling in our youth group, I’d love on them. I’d walk beside them and try to help them grow in the Lord. Now, I have to say, I’ve tried to be positive with his kids. No, they aren’t kids from youth group, and I have extremely limited time to come along side them like I would a kid from youth group. When we’re all together, I’ve tried to be cheerful and good natured. The amount of time we spend together is extremely limited. It doesn’t happen all of the time, and it’s gotten a lot harder lately.

I set my expectations too high on Fred and on his kids, and that has caused me to be on the losing end of our relationship. Every time something “more” happened, I wanted him to fix it. That only pushed him further away from me. I haven’t been putting myself in his shoes meanwhile I’ve reminded him over and over how he hasn’t put himself in my shoes.

Patience[5]

He has a lot to battle with being a part time dad and his kids living in an environment that’s completely different than he and I would like it to be. I on the other hand have been completely unlovable. I have been walking around hurt and angry. This is not to say that he has been perfect and wonderful in all of this. He’s had struggles as well.

I don’t know how to live in the gray. The gray is a scary place for me. It means a lot of unknown, less expectation, letting go. I like to understand things. I need things to make sense in my life. I crave neat and tidy.

Love isn’t neat and tidy. In fact, it’s a whole lot of messiness, a lot of screw ups and heartache. I’m reading the first chapter of the Love Dare and realize I have no clue about loving someone like Fred. I don’t know that I’ll understand it in time, either. And that, that makes me profoundly sad.

If you’re in a blended family, how did you dare to love?

Friday, April 18, 2014

It’s Time For A Peeps Easter Celebration #sp #peepsonality

Peeps Disclosure
Are you like me and remember when the only Peeps available were yellow chicks? You have no idea how excited I was when there were enough options to have a color for each of my four kids!

Now, hooo mama, there aren’t just colors, there are flavored Peeps, Peeps dipped in chocolate, chocolate eggs, ginormous Peeps, etc. At this point, what couldn’t you do with peeps? Next year I’d like bite sized Peeps! hahaha
peeps-selection4
This year for Easter I decided to think outside the box, which doesn’t take much for me since I’m rarely outside of the box. Now, if you’ve spent ANY time on Pinterest you know there a some seriously creative people out there. I’m not one of them. I’m simple when it comes to going outside of my thinking box.

I started off with two boxes of cake mix and 3 various size round cake pans. I baked all three and let them cool. After they cooled, I frosted them with white cream cheese frosting. Then came the fun. I used Wilton spring colored sprinkles on the frosting.
Peeps-Collage4
Mom was around and she chimed in with color suggestions and started helping me place Peeps around the cake’s edge. It’s so fun doing this kind of stuff with the family!

After we finished with the triple layer cake, I made some massive cupcake muffins. I thought it’d be fun to try it with half of the chocolate bunny cooked inside the muffin. Well, that didn’t go quite as planned because the Peep bottom half made it’s way up to the top and baked out. That was ok, it just gave it a bit of melted chocolate.
Peep-Muffin5
After they cooled off, I did the same thing as we did with the cake. We added frosting, sprinkles, and the top half of the chocolate Peeps. These were little cakes that tasted completely scrumptious!
They were super fun to make as well as easy. Easter is here and if you’re still looking for a quick dessert, Peeps can help out in a jiffy! Not only that, you can’t go wrong with having Peeps just sitting around the house. They’re an Easter must-have!
Peeps-Day4

What do you have planned for Easter dessert?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living With HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Products for Earth Day #ad #Moms4JNJConsumer

TheMotherhood Disclosure
With April here, the boys and I are ramping up our efforts to take care of the Earth. One of the places we definitely need to do better is in the bathroom!
Donate Water
HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Products Have You Covered for Earth Day – Remember to Recycle Packaging in the Bathroom.

HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more for all the products you and your family love. You can save over $55 by visiting http://www.HealthyEssentials.com in April and signing up for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program coupons and offers.

While you’re there, check out some of these fantastic deals:
• Save $1.00 on any JOHNSON'S® Baby Intense Moisture Cream
• Save $1.00 on any LUBRIDERM® product (6oz or larger)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) CLEAN & CLEAR® product (excludes trial and travel sizes)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) NEUTROGENA® Sun product (exclude trial size)
• Save $1.00 on any (1) LISTERINE® SMART RINSE Anti-cavity Mouthwash, 500 ml
• Save $1.00 on any (1) REACH® Total Care Floss, or REACH® Gentle Gum Care Floss, or REACH® Dentotape® or REACH® Access® Flosser
• Save $2.00 on any (3) NEOSPORIN®, BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive bandages or JOHNSON and JOHNSON RED CROSS® Brand products (excludes all trial and travel sizes, First Aid Kits, 10 ct Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, and On-the-Go First Aid Kits. Must buy (2) different brand products to qualify for this offer along with a third product)

In addition to the great savings, you can be more active in your community by supporting Earth Day and the wonderful initiatives sponsored by Donate A Photo:

Donate A Photo. The free Donate A Photo (DAP) app allows consumers to make a difference by raising money and awareness for causes that they care about through one simple act – taking a photo. For every photo shared through Donate A Photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate one dollar to one of its non-profit partners, which each consumer can choose from a rotating list.

Earth Day. You can help support and protect a clean environment. Visit this website to find recycling solutions near you: http://search.earth911.com/?sponsor=jnj

For additional tips and facts on what and where to recycle: http://caretorecycle.com/
See J&J employees share their thoughts on sustainability in this powerful video: http://www.healthyessentials.com/our-caring?icid=home|marquee

Wordless Wednesday: New York Trip #travel

Had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Collective Bias office the first part of this week. I can’t WAIT to go back!

Train Ride[5]

Penn Station[5]

Brooklyn View[5]

Brooklyn Bridge[5]

Down Town Trains[5]

One World Trade Center[5]

Be sure to visit Full Time Mama as well!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gorton’s Artisan fillet #RealSolutions Giveaway #sp

As I’ve written before, my son and I enjoy the varieties of Gorton’s Sea Food. In fact, they have New Gorton’s Aritsan Fillets. They’re available in these flavors:

  • Roasted Garlic & Italian Herb
  • Lemon & Cracked Peppercorn
  • Southern Style
  • Southwest Tortilla
Artisan-Fillets-sp5
When Fred came over for dinner the other night, we had a really great dinner. We tried the Southern Style and Roasted Garlic & Italian Herb Artisan Fillets. Along with the fillets we had asparagus, a variety of tomatoes and french fries.
Gortons-Artisan-Fillets-sp5
Fred got the asparagus ready as well as the fries and we got the fish put in the oven at the same time. Let’s just say Fred likes to be in the kitchen, which is great for me! Since no one else likes the tomatoes I pretty much munched on them myself all night.
Gortons-Fillets5
After we finished dinner Fred and I both agreed we liked the Southern Style fillets the most. I’m looking forward to trying the other two options as well.
Gortons-Dinner5
Now you have the opportunity to win 2 Gorton’s coupons and the cutting board!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.