The reason I am focusing on reflection for Lent is because ever since I became a mom I’ve often felt like I’m being pushed and pulled through life instead of actually making the decisions and being the navigator of my own life. Taking time to blog and look inside helps me feel like I’m more in touch with myself and my life … And the people in it too, actually. Plus, I have a huge habit of not disciplining myself enough – I tend to be all gung ho at the beginning of something then in no time at all I lose all my momentum aka discipline. I’m hoping this challenge will help me with that or at least maybe the reflection part will help me figure out why I tend to quit doing things that originally were so exciting and important to me. 

We will see….

  • 40 Blogs of Lent. 3 down, 37 to go. 


I’m addicted to FarmVille. There I said it. I used to play the desk top version when my daughter was an infant and I stopped when a friend (that also played) and I drifted apart. Now I found the mobile app version and play at least 2 hours throughout the day. I should’ve given farmville up for lent!  

It’s actually a lot more challenging than it used to be. Now that less people play, there isn’t all the assistance that you used to get from the other players, so you’re pretty much on your own. 

It’s like I tell John when he teases me about playing, “hey, it’s free and it’s fun for me” I could choose 85 dollar massages or buying music on iTunes, or gym memberships and healthy smoothies …. Right??!! 

My point is: yes, it’s my guilty pleasure and yes, I do it too much, BUT, there are MUCH worse things this crazy redhead could be doing!!! Don’t you agree?

Thank you FarmVille for being there for me when I need my me time and to think about nothing but imaginary crops and crafts and striving toward a goal that doesn’t mean anything to anybody except me :) 

  • 40 blogs of lent. 2 down, 38 to go. 

time to blog, no time to blog

I want to, I really do! I want to make a Lenten promise (a little late, I know) to contribute to the blogging world during Lent – a challenge to myself to take time to reflect. It’s proving challenging already. My daughter just “barfed” as she’s choosing to call it and I have a new client today so I am NOT calling off – even though that’s what all my motherly instincts are telling me to do. I just want to slip back into my jammies and crawl in bed with her and wait on her hand and foot for the entirety of the illness :-( (Must resist) Her dad will do a fine job spoiling her, and I know he’ll call me with any questions… still it’s sad, it should be me.

Time for more coffee, wrangle in this hair for a day of cleaning, socks and shoes, packing a snack and some drinks, and heading out into the cold world.

One blog down, 39 to go (my 40 blogs of Lent challenge to myself)IMG_6714

One blog

If You Want Me To

I’ve practiced this song so many times… so I never expected that when I was singing it in front of the congregation that I would get so emotional… but oh well :-) It’s such a moving song! I just love it, and I have for years, just thought I’d share :-)

If You Want Me To
By Kyle Matthews and Ginny Owens
Soloist: Allison Irons
Accompanied By: John Barile and Betsy Nonnenmacher
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church ~ Toledo, Ohio
St. Patrick’s Day 2013

ugh! I am so sad and happy at the same time in my life right now

How can I feel like this one minute

Falling and you catch me
Falling And you’re falling
Falling in
Falling into each other
Falling with no landing
Falling with each new thing
Falling more
Falling more everyday
Falling hard
Falling fast
Falling far 
Falling for you
Falling forever
Falling into my happily ever after with you.

And feel all sad the next….

I just don’t understand it :-(


…praying for understanding

Grief Stricken and Sleep Deprived OR Money and Messages From Above? You decide :-)

Today is the 9 year anniversary of the death of a great man named Bob. Bob was my fiancé. Bob got brain cancer and six weeks later he passed away. Bob was an awesome person, father, fiancé, friend, son, brother and even a great father figure to my son. With it being the anniversary of his passing I wanted to post a couple of poems I’ve written about him over the years. I also want to share a very personal story about his passing. I just want to honor his memory – I don’t have money to put anything in the local paper – so I’m going to try to honor him this way.

Bob fought the hard fight for six weeks – he wanted to live, he was scared of dying, I wouldn’t let myself believe that he wasn’t going to make it – so when he did finally let go in that hospital bed that night I was beside myself. My dad, my best friend Kris, and my brother Steve all took shifts because they didn’t want me to be alone. I remember constant crying when I wasn’t around my son – lots of nose running rambling that lasted for hours – when I did sleep, which wasn’t much, it wasn’t restful. The TV was constantly going to try to distract me and give some background noise – it wasn’t working because every other thing on TV is about death or cancer, I swear – at least it is when that’s what you’re dealing with at the time. Sigh.

The time had come to go to the funeral home. Everything was taken care of. Dad had gone with me to pick out the flower arrangement: A red rose for every year of Bob’s life in the shape of a heart with palms (because we met right around palm Sunday). I wanted a red sash that said fiancé and a yellow sash that said buddy (because that’s what he called A.J.). Mom had gone with me to get my black shoes and my very pretty black pin striped skirt suit.

It was time to go see him. I was going to see him with no life in him. I wasn’t ready. How can you ever be ready for something like that? I cry now thinking about it – the finality – the utter agony of finally finding the man of my dreams only to have him taken away? (pausing to pull myself together) My brother, my dad, Kris and I headed to the funeral home but stopped at a brand new Tim Hortons that had just opened to unite and collect ourselves first. I felt like I was gonna poop my pants and I felt like I was gonna puke. With everything in my insides wanting to come out I figured I better go sit in the bathroom (I told you it was a personal story didn’t I?) Kris went with me of course. I went in my little private stall and sat down. I remember telling Kris that I was freaking out. But then I stopped talking to her. I was so sick, I was lost, even my insides didn’t know what to do or where to go – how was I going to survive this? I remember it clear as a bell; I said out loud “Lord, you’re going to have to help me get through this.” Then all of a sudden something caught my eye – right on top of the toilet paper roll sat a shiny quarter. I said to Kris “I just found a quarter,” not really thinking much of it. Oh how I wished I knew how to turn off how scared I was in those moments, I continued sitting and feeling sick, miserable and sad. I really WAS freaking out, my legs were jelly, and my heart was pounding inside my chest at 300 miles an hour. I had never felt so desperate; at a time like this I only wanted one person – Bob. I wanted to have him help me, I wanted his hugs and his kisses and I wanted him to wipe my tears so I said out loud “Bob, I’m gonna need you to help me too.” Something caught my eye right then, shining on the floor in the stall with me was a bright shiny dime. I told Kris “Oh my gosh I just found a dime.” So as I was washing up and getting ready to leave the bathroom I was in a daze but then it dawned on me and I told Kris something to the effect of: Ya know, I really think that was Bob’s way of telling me “I’m here with you and I’m helping you 10 times more than you could ever know” and God’s way of telling me “I’m with you and I’m helping you 25 times more than you could ever know.” I told her I had to keep the coins and grabbed ‘em up, slipped them in my little black dress purse and off we went. The 3 long days at the funeral home, the funeral, and the burial were awful just like I knew they would be – but I survived thanks to my great support (both here on earth and in heaven).

So Bob was gone – but at the same time always with me, looking down from Heaven. But either way, my life was changed forever. It was like my life was split in two that day. Like when a lightning bolt splits a tree down the middle. From that moment on I’ve always looked at my life like two paths. The path I’m now on and the path I would’ve been on if Bob hadn’t died. I try not to, but, I catch myself looking over at that other path from time to time – but I look over a lot less than I used to, that’s for sure – so that’s good.