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I have so many ideas on what to blog but I feel scatterbrained and unable to complete an entire blog on anything…

I want to write a letter to all my husband’s relatives (and a few of mine too) and explain my life to them so they would hopefully understand why I behave in ways they deem “rude”.  I can totally see this as something that would turn into a bestselling book/booklet and millions of people could buy it and hand it to other people and say “Just read it, this explains everything”.  Lol.

I want to write about the Orchestra trip to Portland with my youngest daughter… okie dokie, what I wrote here is actually long enough – and crazy enough – to be its own post so look for it soon 🙂

I want to write about passing Day 30 and how my husband has stayed Prince Charming 98% of the time – a new record for him!  The biggest proof so far of his new-found love and devotion for me is the fact that I mentioned at some point that I only own two bras and one of them has a broken underwire that pokes and pinches me.  He actually went to Walmart, on his very own, and purchased two bras – and even got the size right – although though it nearly embarrassed him to death to be seen anywhere near women’s undergarments in public, much less than purchasing them with a male checker.  He said he was nervous and beet red and kept looking around for another checker… I found that to be hilarious and bordering on true romance at the same time.

I want to write about the beauty of the waterfalls that seem to be everywhere and the greenness of spring that has already come, at least to Portland.  Visual beauty restores peace in my soul and I start to feel again.  There is so much water here that everything is alive and green – even mundane landscaping seems beautiful to me, is that weird?  Maybe I should move to Portland or Seattle someday?

I want to write about work and how I’m feeling like I will never be fast enough to do a good job like the other girls but I’m confident that I am doing my very best and truly can’t do any better.  I am and always have been very thorough in whatever job I do… but always at the cost of speed.  I’m not a slow poke by any means but I’ve never been Speedy Gonzalez either.  At this point I’m kind of waiting for them to fire me in the not-so-distant future and hoping I can talk them into just laying me off instead because A) I believe I was poorly trained and have brought that to their attention many times and B) My medical issues truly do prevent me from doing the job properly.  If I were laid off I could at least get unemployment and I would LOVE not to have to work for a while because both life and home are so overwhelming for me right now… all I want to do is sleep all day, every day.  I’m scared to lose this job though because the benefits are so excellent and how on earth will we be able to pay for everything my daughter with Post Concussion Symptom needs?  Also I won’t be able to get my own pills for depression, anxiety and insomnia or go to the doctor without the insurance, but then again, maybe I won’t need all the remedies for stress if I don’t have this stressful job, eh?

I want to write about the book I read on Boundaries – for several months now I’ve been on this journey of “finding myself” and never would have thought to phrase it as “I’m looking for my boundaries” because that seems like a negative thing – like someone else is trying to “fence me in” and limit me but honestly, I am looking for my boundaries because everything within my boundaries is me and defines who I am.  My skin is my physical boundary, everything outside it cannot be called by my name, but where are my emotional and relational boundaries?  The book talked about how children will either spend all their energy on surviving their childhood or they will thrive in their childhood and use all their energy to develop the skills they will need as an adult.  I’m realizing that I survived my childhood and there are a lot of skills that I don’t have.  I think my husband probably survived his childhood as well, we are each missing some of the same skills and there are a few skills that one of us lacks that but other has… it makes for a very confusing life together and I can’t imagine what we’ve done to our children.  I’m sure they survived/are surviving and can’t wait to get away from us, sorry girls.

I want to write about Panic Attacks since my body keeps trying to make me think I’m having a heart attack and I refuse to believe it anymore because every single time I’ve gone to the ER for these symptoms the doctors say it’s “just a Panic Attack” and that my heart is quite healthy… and then they hand me a very large bill, some of them I’m still paying for, ugh!

I want to write about beautiful music and how it breaks the ice around my soul and gives me emotions I haven’t had in years.  Right now the music that touches me the most is “New Age”, stuff like Yanni and Enya.  Soothing, beautiful melodies and harmonies with very few words but because of it’s categorization (New Age) my mother was very against me listening to it in high school.  She thought it was spiritually liked to some sort of cult.  There’s way more to that story but I will have to make another blog about it some other time.

I want to write about Farmville and how that stupid game gives me a sense of accomplishment just by feeding electronic animals and harvesting electronic crops that I rarely feel in the real world.  I stopped playing it for years at my husband’s request but my children started playing it so now we “farm” together – yes, I know, what a great family activity in this age of technology – it’s a true bonding activity for the girls and me. <snicker>

Each one of these topics seems worthy of its own blog entry and yet feel like I’ve just emptied my head about all of them.  I’m so tired and very weary… and yes, they really are two different things.

Right now I’m growing, I’m changing and I’m in a season of chaos.  Yet I’m learning that this is not the end, it’s actually another beginning.  Hope stirs within me like a crocus pushing through the snow in spring… winter is not quite over but the worst seems to be past and I may yet still bloom!

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Rain falls softly in the Garden of Winter
It is ever raining here
Allowing the Stone Angels to weep always
This garden is a place of beauty and solitude
I come here to be alone

And I am, alone
Even when others come to the Garden of Winter
To find solitude
We are each alone here
Always

A place kept secret, always
Everyone needs a place to be alone
I find that place here
In the Garden of Winter
That secret place of solitude

When one needs solitude
One must have it, always
The Garden of Winter
Allows me to be alone
With my thoughts, here

And I can weep with the Stone Angels here
In quiet solitude
When I need to be alone
I cannot always
Go away to the Garden of Winter

So the Garden of Winter
Is here
Inside me always
A corner of solitude
A piece of my heart that will ever stand alone

Our 8-day Christmas Adventure began the Thursday before Christmas in a suburban – my husband and I in the captain’s chairs up front and our oldest daughter in the first bench seat back and our youngest daughter in the bench seat after that.  It was warm, spacious and my youngest spent the first half of our 8-hour drive fast asleep while I put a movie on my laptop for my oldest and I to watch while my husband listened to the audio.  It was a good trip, lots of pretty scenery as we wound our way through the river road, up and over the pass and through tiny little towns in the middle of nowhere.  Although we could see snow here and there the roads were bare and dry and we arrived safely at my father and step-mom’s house about 10 pm.

Unfortunately we could only stay for two nights and one full day but it was a nice day, we had a fabulous Christmas dinner of ham, assorted salads, scalloped potatoes, olives and finished dinner up with a lovely banana cream pie.  We exchanged gifts and watched a couple of movies together, played a few games of cards and while it didn’t work out to have a private conversation with my father I took a walk with my step-mother and we talked a bit.  It’s been a rough year with them, relationship-wise, and I think the visit helped to start the healing process – at least with her and hopefully I can work on re-establishing communication with my father this coming year.  He gave me one of his old cameras after I mentioned mine was broke – and I wasn’t even hinting or asking for another camera, I was just trying to explain why I wasn’t taking family pictures while he was!  It was kind of an awkward time but overall it was a good visit with family.

Saturday we drove to one of my brother’s house, about a 4 hour trip, but an hour or so away our transmission broke and we lost Overdrive, 2nd gear and Reverse.  Holding our breath we slowly drove the rest of the way to my brothers but we made it safely, yay!

At my brother’s house on the backside of a mountain we had a get-together with both of him and his family and my other brother and his family came over as well.  Unfortunately our sister was sick and unable to come to Christmas; I missed seeing her so much!  We had ham, mashed potatoes, green salad, a veggie tray, chips, sodas and baked goodies for dessert.  Instead of buying everyone a gift we did a White Elephant Gift Exchange instead and I took lots of fun pictures of the 10 cousins opening and “stealing” gifts.  When it was all over and I shared childhood memories of the times before our parents had divorced with the brother that was hosting us and his wife.  She seemed fascinated but he looked unhappy.  I wondered if it was because so many of my memories included the phrase “I knew I couldn’t tell Mom because she would get mad” or “Mom was so mad at me”, something my sister-in-law noticed and commented on.  The next day when my husband asked him about it my brother said he barely remembered my stories because he was too tired.  Hmmm…  That night it snowed almost a foot – if we thought it was beautiful before, wow!

Sunday morning we borrowed a teeny, tiny pickup truck from my brother, squeezed our two teenaged daughters into the side-facing rear seats and traveled through a Winter Wonderland – pine trees with snowy boughs and unplowed roads, snowflakes falling as we drove, we even saw a moose with huge antlers!  It was a much-needed infusion of Christmas…  We went to church with my husband’s parents, had lunch and then visited some friends before going back to my brother’s house to spend more time with them.

Monday, Christmas Eve, belonged to my husband’s parents.  We limped our suburban into town, unloaded our stuff at their place and then my husband and his father dropped the burb off at a transmission shop and then we spent a few hours waiting for my brother-in-law and family to show up.  Once they arrived we opened stockings and presents (Christmas is very Proper there) and then we had a family meal together.  Ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, soda, pumpkin and apple pies.  I am so hammed out…  Then we sat around and played  with our presents until my youngest fell asleep on the couch.  At that point we said we needed to go to the hotel and rest because we were exhausted and getting sick.  We were reluctantly allowed to borrow a vehicle escorted to the hotel with a promise that my in-laws would return to share the hotel’s continental breakfast with us in the morning so no sleeping in for us.  We were so tired we just sat in the beds and watched “The Mummy”.  As soon as it ended we turned the lights out and I think we were all asleep by 9 pm.

Christmas morning we woke about 9:30 to the knowledge that my husband’s parents were on their way and would be waiting for us in the lobby for breakfast.  They were as good as their word and we spent about an hour enjoying homemade waffles and what not from the hotel’s breakfast selection.  We then rushed back to the room to check out by 11 am and headed back to their place for another few hours.  The trip was beginning to feel about two days too long at that point – and we couldn’t even go home because our suburban was still in the shop!  But we had a good visit with his parents and then came the best part of the trip (for me!)

 

Christmas afternoon we went to my best friend from high school’s house, yay!  It was like coming home…  It was so nice to hang out and visit with her and her family again – we even got an extra day with them because the transmission was still in the shop and we couldn’t leave on Wednesday as planned.  We spent some time together, talked a little, watched some movies as families and had a blast playing around with my new camera and looking at some art books.

Thursday morning we said goodbye to my friend and her family, picked up the burb out of the shop (over $3,000 – oh crap!), returned my in-laws car and headed towards home, arriving just after dark about 6 pm.  We unloaded the car and I discovered one of my daughters left my pillow in the car so I headed off to Wally World to get another one.

Friday my husband and I both went to work for a one-day workweek, which that and being casual jeans day for me were the only redeeming features about it, and today, Saturday, I slept in until 1 pm – it was wonderful!  I am hoping to make it all day without having to get dressed…

And that was our Christmas adventure… so now you know why I don’t write a lot about the everyday details – they’re kind of boring.  I did not recapture the Christmas Spirit but I did catch a glimpse of it here and there and that will have to be enough for this year.  Next year I will continue my quest to experience the peace and wonder of Christmas time…next year maybe I will come closer!