Friday, September 30, 2011

Uhaul Fire Kinda Day...

I still feel like I'm in this brain fog! Ulgh!! It brings back crazy memories...

The only time I really remember having horrible brain fog - which, this present time frame of my life is nothing compared to then - was the summer of 2005.

The day before my birthday, we were moving from Buras to Pineville. I had a job at Pineville High School, and Lee was going to be attending LSUA and working maintenance at the campground in Woodworth.

I was sad to leave Buras...but I knew that we were supposed to go. The morning we moved, I woke up and felt the Lord speak to me, "See now that my hand is upon you." I knew it was God because I would have never thought of that on my own.

We packed up our Uhaul...they had given us an "upgrade" because they were out of the one we ordered since people were packing up to evacuate from Hurricane Dennis. It was junky and kept over-heating. Lee's dad drove it to Pineville for us, Ms. Teresa followed him in their van, and then Lee & I each drove our cars.

His parents took Hwy 90, and Lee & I took I-10. They had to stop several times because the truck kept overheating. We got stuck in traffic.

While we were in New Olreans, Lee and I were both listening to LifeSongs 89.1 FM. I remember being on the westbank turning onto the expressway. I heard this statement, "The will of God will never take you, where the grace of God cannot keep you."

Lee and I both heard it, but we didn't talk about it on the phone or anything until we stopped to get something to eat on the other side of Baton Rouge after being in traffic for over an hour.

When we were about 30 minutes from Lee's parent's house, his dad called him to tell him that the truck had caught on fire in the driveway, but the fire department was on its way. As we were turning in the neighborhood, Lee called me to tell me that his dad had called him again to tell him that they couldn't put it out, and we were going to lose everything in it.

My heart was broken. Those were my things. Things that I had since I was a child. Irreplaceable things.

I didn't understand why. I called my parents. Everyone was crying. It was a major loss.
Were we really supposed to move? So many questions and doubt filled my mind...and as Lee and I were asking "why," a neighbor, who had lost her husband to a heart attack said, "why not you? He knows you can handle this." She was right. Peace flooded us.

I had a scrapbook that my cousin Sylvia had made for us from our wedding day. It was little slips of paper that people signed instead of a guest book. That was in the truck. The firemen searched for it, bringing me books to look at from inside the truck. They tried so hard, but couldn't find it.

So, my brave hero of a husband went into the truck after the fire department left and had put it out. He searched for over an hour. He had to put fires out again.

I had given up hope, but he hadn't. He found it. It was soaking wet, but the pages were able to be saved. He came in holding it, all cut up and covered from head to toe with soot...but he found it.

The days and months following the fire were hard. The truck sat in the driveway for a few days was horrible. They said a brake line broke, and with the engine overheating, it just caught on fire. Thankfully this didn't happen while my father-in-law was driving it!

Then Katrina came through and destroyed my whole families homes and belongings. It was just a rough time. I cried a lot. A whole lot. I was seriously depressed.

But, I made it through that time, and I'm a better person now because of it.

And I know that I will make it through this season of brain fog just fine, too.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bella Bee is 3!

Bella is 3 years old thing I know, she'll be 13. Sometimes, I think she thinks she's 13...

It's amazing how these 3 years can feel so long and so short at the same time.

She's an amazing little girl. She's smart and funny. She's creative and talented. She's sweet and sassy.

The sassy part is pretty new. I know that she's getting it naturally...and I'm wondering how often she sees that in me. Often, I tell Lee that she's only repeating something she's heard from me...

It's hard to explain the love I have for her. How much I would do for her. How much I believe in her and the potential she has inside of her.

It's my job to nurture believe in help her learn.

It's a great responsibility, but it's also a huge honor. I'm thrilled that forever I will get to be an influential part in her life.

I get to have a part in her becoming a strong, confident woman of God.

And what has already happened in these 3 short years are shaping that woman.

It's crazy to think that I'll stop and just keep enjoying being with my little girl now. We'll go back to her playing with my hair, dancing and singing around, and snuggling as much as we possibly can.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brain Fog

I haven't been feeling inspired lately. I feel like I'm in a brain fog. My thinking is unclear, and I feel like I'm just making it through each day. Lee said he thinks I'm in survival mode....I'm surviving but I'm not thriving.

I know that I've had a lot to think about in the past few weeks. And the grief from the loss of my grandma (and thinking about my mom) has had a toll on me.

I just feel like I've been in a funk. Stuck. Not moving forward.

It hasn't been fun. I haven't been a fun person to be around either.

And still in the middle of the funk, I know God is speaking to me (even when I don't hear His voice)...and I know that He's challenging me to grow through this.

One of my favorite quotes is from Jeff Stanfill..."Things don't grow at the top of the mountain. They grow in the valleys and are carried to the top of the mountain."

My most glorious, top of the world experiences don't challenge me to grow. It's the unpleasant, uncomfortable almost down in the dumps experience that make me grow.

This funk has made me realize how selfish I'm being. My patience has been shorter with my precious children. They don't deserve that. I haven't been the nicest person to Lee...he doesn't deserve that either. My emotions and feelings should not dictate how I treat them. It's usually the people who are the closest to you that you hurt the most, and I don't want to hurt my beautiful family.

I have a choice to be selfish. To continue to live in this funky, brain fog time. Or, I can keep walking by faith...taking steps away from selfishness to selflessness. It's not easy. It's not a clear path at the moment.

I grew up in Buras, and there was always thick, dense fog. There would be times where I could hardly see a tenth of a mile in front of me. I had to slow down, but I didn't stop my car and wait for the fog to lift up. And because I slowed down and was extra cautious, I made it home safe.

So, even through this time, I know that I can slow down, but I still need to move forward. One step of faith at a time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

No Nap Sunday

Bella isn't interested in taking a nap today.

She is normally a wonderful napper...she has walked with blanket in hand to her bed, telling me that she's ready to take a nap. I don't even have to ask.

But today is not one of those days.

And it's dreary outside, and everyone else in the house is sleeping.

Doesn't she know that days like today require a nap???

I used to love taking naps. For a long period of my life...high school, college, and even when I was a teacher, I took naps on a daily basis. It would be a big deal for me not to take a nap.

And I've always had a comfy bed with my comfy pillows.
It's just made my nap tradition that much easier.

Then I had kids.

And with one kid, it's easy to take a nap when she's taking a nap.

But two blew that theory out of the water.

They never seem to take a nap at the same time. One will go to sleep and be waking up as the other is falling asleep.

And whenever they do both take a nap at the same time, it feels like there are a million other things that need to be done instead of taking a nap myself.

And if you know how much I love naps, you will know how big of a statement that is for me.

I know...I know that this is a napless season of my life. There will be times in the future when I can take naps every day again, but I will long for these moments that I have now.

So, to honor that moment, Bella & I are about to enjoy an evening cup of coffee and snuggle on the couch in lieu of a nap for today.

It's all about perspective. And I pray that I don't lose myself or my children by having a selfish view of life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Treasured Memories

It's amazing how fast time seems to fly by...

A lot has been happening lately. We've been busy with work. Readjusting to a busy schedule and now 2 little ones. No two fall semesters will ever look the same. This time last year, I was dealing with a 2 year old and a newborn.

Now, I have a potty-trained 3 year old and a walking 1 year old. It all looks different.

Then, my maternal grandmother passed away. She would have been 82 in just a few weeks. She's been sick for a very long time, but it is still hard to let go. I am grateful that she's not suffering any more...and she's not giving others a hard time. :)

My Memaw was one of the most talented artists I know. It's a shame that we don't have more of her art work due to hurricanes and our fire...we lost most of what she's done.

I love to brag that she hand sewed my mom's wedding dress. My mom is so much tinier than I ever was - even as a teenager, I tried it on, and it didn't fit! It was beautiful and beaded, and all done by hand. That's talent.

One of the things I was most sad about losing in our fire was a small painting that I had done when I was about 3. Memaw even had it framed and asked me what I wanted it to be titled. I must have said, "A,B,C,D,E" because that was what was written on the back of it.

I wish I would have inherited more of those talents. I think my mom and my sister Lulu got them all. I can't sew straight to save my life...and my paintings aren't near as to what hers were.

She used to cut the wood to make her own boat paddles. Then she would stain them and paint a marsh scene on the wide part of it. Those were beautiful too.

I could go on and on about her talents and abilities. I could also go on about how much of a hard time she loved to give all around her. She was quite a character.

Memories are precious. They are worth sharing and being passed down to my kids. They are the treasures that have (without my knowledge even) shaped me into who I am, and will have an impact on my children as well.