Thursday, May 25, 2017

I DID IT!!!!!

I DID IT!!!! 

:insert happy dance, hands raised, smile on my face, jumping up and down:

Today I went to the cardiologist...I have dreaded this visit for the last two months.  Not because he's a mean guy, but because I needed results...and he was gonna shoot it to me straight if I didn't have the results he wanted...and I needed.  

Let's rewind to two months ago...I'm in church...listening to a sermon...and the right side of my jaw starts having this piercing pain.  I'm sitting there like "wow...this hurts". I continue to sit through the sermon and even afterwards, I'm talking to people.  The pain is worse, but ya know, gotta suck it up.  And then, my face goes numb.  I am trying to listen to this precious friend talk to me as I'm poking my face.  I'm sure she was thinking how weird is this lady that she's poking her face...and why in the world is she doing that?

I go to Hubby and I start tearing up...
Me: that kid's room.
Hubby:  What is going on?
Me:  I can't feel my face.  
Hubby:  What?
Me:  I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE! this point, we're both panicking, but he's pretty fabulous as keeping a calm front.  He calls our friend, he tells us to call my doctor, doctor says head to the ER, friends take my children, I yell at Hubby about going the speed limit from Morgantown to Bowling.  

We spend five hours in the ER...had our friend come to visit and make jokes...was treated like a stroke victim for the first four hours we were there, sent home with the diagnosis "you've got high blood pressure go see your doctor ASAP".  Thanks...I actually knew that!

Cardiologist tells me I need to exercise more.  He says that what I'm doing at school (all the jumping, running around, etc) isn't helping because my body is used to it.  So I've got to push my body more.  Exercise every day 30-60 minutes a day and watch everything I eat...need to eat clean and watch the sodium.  

Now...on that doctor's visit, I bawled like a baby.  I'm gonna be 40 in August and I'm in two blood pressure medicines.  I hate to take medicine.  I hate to exercise.  I hate to watch what I eat.  I'm in a lose-lose situation at this point.  

I went home that day...and I committed myself to getting off those medicines.  It's not going to be easy, but I am getting off of them.  

So the next day, I worked out 30 minutes.  I started Couch to app (cuz I'm cheap)...and I thought "duh, I can do this".  

OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I thought I was going to die.  Whoever invented 30 minutes straight of exercise needs a nap.  Sweat was all over my body and I was not enjoying it one bit.  The only part I liked was that I decide to watch "Friends" while I worked out on the treadmill...and realize that I'm more like Monica in every episode.  

And to top things off, I apparently can't read.  I thought it was an every day ordeal...and I didn't realize that until I was on week 3...and I was only 1 1/2 weeks into the exercise routine. Ugh!  

So every day I've exercised on that treadmill.  I mean, I'm already on the sixth season of Friends.  I've made it a part of my daily routine.  I let out frustration as a ran.  I complained while I ran.  I took my stress and ran to get rid of it.  It was weird, but amazing at the same time.  There were many times that I had to push myself to get on the treadmill...and nights I waited until the last minute to even look at the treadmill.  I would eat with the family and be gone for an hour as I exercised and watched Friends.  

And I loathed putting everything I ate in the fitness app.  I would cringe as I put things in because I didn't want my sodium to be too high.  I will say that I started looking at nutritional labels...and things were high opening to me.  Hubby and I started to read labels on everything...the entire family was in on it...not that the #s likes reading labels, but they helped me...they supported me.  

So fast forward to today...Hubby was kind enough to go with me.  We got there ten minutes early and we were taken to the room quickly.  The lady weighed me (I'm not a fan of this part either)...but...I LOST 12 POUNDS!!!!!  I mean, I've got from an x-large shirt to a medium.  I've worked my butt off.  

I DID IT!  My doctor came in with a big smile on his face...told me I've done well.  We talked about clean eating, my energy, my exercising...and then he dropped the bombshell on me....

Doctor: Listen, I want you to live a little also.  Don't put exercise above everything else.  Don't make it a cult or addiction.  Eat out and take a break...and then exercise and eat clean.  

WHAT?!?!?  I am one of those people that put 100% into whatever I put my mind to.  I was told I needed to exercise to get off these medications...and now you want me to live my life!?!?!?!  That's like saying "slow down", "take a break"...remember...I'm like Monica on Friends...I don't know what slow down means!

But guess a month, I get to cut one of my medicines in 1/2!  And in six months, if things are still good, I get off that other 1/2...and then we talk about the other medicine.  You bet your bottom dollar I'm going to exercise every day to end these medications!  

And guess what?  I did...I took Chick-Fil-A today for lunch for the #s...and I got something too.  And I didn't worry (too much) about it.  

So today after lunch I cleaned out the kitchen, den, and dining room.  Then I went to exercise on he treadmill...and enjoyed it.  I want off these medicines.  I want to be here for my family for a long time.  I want to let go of unneeded stress.  And with the fabulous support of Hubby and the #s, I pray that I continue to work towards getting off these medications and being healed in Our Life of Numbers!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Testing Week At Our House's been a while.  Things have been crazy in our games, EasterFest, spring break, life...I had someone ask me today how in the world we do it with three boys...planning...lots and lots of planning...and when something doesn't go as planned, sometimes there are tears and then you just change your mindset and go.  If I've learned anything in this life, it's that I can't plan everything.

But I write tonight because I'm frustrated.  I'm thinking it was about this time last year when I wrote that I was frustrated...frustrated about this state testing stuff.  How times haven't changed...except I'm a little more frustrated this year because all three of the #s are testing this year.  So testing officially starts tomorrow and these are the conversations that I've had so far...

With my 8th grader...
#1:  I have got to do well on this test so we can have fun the rest of the year.

Me:  They can't stop you from having fun because of the test.

#1:  Yes they can.  They can take away everything because of our scores. 

Me:  No they can't.

#1:  Mom, you don't know.  You've never taught at the junior high.  

Me:  I know they're not going to take the fun stuff they have planned for you for the end of the year because of the score on the test.  

#1:  They also said that this counts and we could be held back.

Me:  They cannot hold you back in the 8th grade because of these tests.

#1:  Yes they can.  It counts now.

Me:  Counts for what?

#1:  If I can go to the 9th grade.

Me:  Seriously...think about this.  You've had good grades all year long.  Do you really think that this test is going to count more than the 10 months of work you've done all year?

#1:  I don't know.  I'm just saying that I've been told that I can be held back.

Me:  Listen.  To.  Me.  We do not get these test scores until October.  There is no way they will pull you out of the 9th grade and put you back in the 8th grade because of these test scores.  No.  Way.  You would have already had nine weeks of your 9th grade year. Stop worrying about this test.
#1:  THEN WHY DO THEY KEEP SAYING THESE THINGS?!?!?!?!  I'm freaking out about it!

Me:  Because there are children that won't do the best they can if they aren't told it counts towards something.  You are not one of those children.  You are going to 9th grade next year.  The.  End.  

With my 4th grader...
#2:  I'm ready for KPREP.

Me:  Great!  I'm glad you're ready. 

#2:  Teacher said we will get plenty of recess time after the tests because we have to sit for so long.  

Me:  So really you're excited about recess?!?!?

#2:  Yes...and reading my book.  After I complete the test AND check over my work, I get to read.  I mean, what a day...I'm going to love these five days.  

#1:  You know what I get to do after my test?  I HAVE TO CHECK IT OVER AND OVER UNTIL THE TEST IS FINISHED.  

#2:  Stop freaking out about this.  It's not going to change your life.  

#2:  The teachers are telling us to make sure we eat a good breakfast.  I'm thinking pancakes and bacon tomorrow.

Me:  That's not what you eat every morning and your grades are good.  I wouldn't want to jinx you taking the test by giving you a pancake and bacon breakfast when your body isn't used to it.  What if your body eats that and is like "whoa, I'm tired" and you sleep through the test?

#2:  Interesting...but my body is saying pancakes and bacon tomorrow would be great. 

Me:  And I'm saying, eat your cereal tomorrow and you'll be fine.  

With my 3rd grader...first year tester...
#3:  I'm only taking one pencil to my KPREP test.  

Me:  Why?

#3:  Because if it breaks, then I am finished with my test.

Me:  They have more pencils. 

#3:  Nope...I need latex free pencils so I don't hurt my one pencil is all I'm taking. 

Me:  Nice try.  

#3:  What if I forget my ball?

Me:  Then Teacher will go get it for you.

#3:  What if I forget my gum? 

Me:  Then Teacher will get some for you.

#3:  What if I forget my "break card" and the teacher doesn't know I can take breaks?

Me:  Ms. C is going to take care of you and make sure you have everything for your tests.  You've got to stop worrying about this.

#3:  What if I forget an answer to a question?  Or what if I do bad?

Me:  This test is just for you to do the best that you can.  If you forget an answer, you'll find the best one.  And there's no bad...unless you don't try.  You are going to try, so you'll do great. 

#3:  But the grade...

Me:  The grade doesn't count.

#3:  Yes it does...why would they have novice, distinguish, and proficient if it didn't count.  You get certificates if you do good on the test and nothing if you do bad.  What if I do bad Mommy?  Will people still like me if I'm not as smart as my brothers or my friends?

Me:  (tears in my eyes) Honey, you are going to do the best you can.  I already know how smart you are.  Your teachers already know how smart you are.  Your brothers already know how smart you are.  These scores don't matter to us at all.  I promise. 

I'm sure some people will be quite surprised about how crazy it is in our house around this testing time.  And now I'm off to get a little eight year old in his own bed because he fell asleep while crying in my bed about this test tomorrow...we will be dancing for joy next Wednesday when this testing is over for this year in Our Life By Numbers!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Yes, I Cussed...

…right in front of #3.  It happened Monday morning as we’re getting ready to leave for school.  We were running late, #1 forgot his phone inside the house, #2 didn’t bring the soccer stuff after being told what seemed like a million times, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was #3 going as slow as a snail and twirling around in the driveway and wouldn’t get in the car and then dropped his backpack on the wet ground…
Me:  (mumbling under my breath) Damn it.  I’ll get it.  Get in the car.

I’m not proud of it.  I don’t do it often.  I don’t cuss like a sailor (anymore).  And for the rest of the day, I felt completely guilty about it.  Things kept running in my head…
-YOU are a pastor’s wife.
-YOU are a Christian.
-If #3 heard you and started saying it, that could be his next tic…can you imagine him saying “damn it” over and over and then saying he learned it from his mother…the Christian…the pastor’s wife?
-You can’t do this…you’re a mom.
-What in the world were you thinking?
…it was this thing that haunted me all day long.  I mean all day long.  Apparently, it hasn’t gone way.

So today I decided to take a bath…
Me:  Who wants to get my bath ready for me?
#2:  I will…do you want extra cheese?
Me:  Nevermind, I’ll do it myself.

I looked at the bathtub.  It’s an ugly brown bathtub.  The shine is completely gone which makes it harder to clean because stuff just stays on it.  I’ve tried everything to clean it…spent lots of money, used lots of chemicals, nothing works.  It’s just a nasty bathtub.  I got in the nasty tub and sat there. 
I’m not a fan of taking baths.  I feel like I’m sitting in my own filth.  Dirt and germs just floating around and there I am sitting in it.  As I look, at the water, I realize the soap scum and the dirt…probably from the boys the night before (yes, I’m fairly certain I remembered to rinse out the tub before I got in).  I see a piece of fuzz and I push it away.  A few minutes pass and I see the fuzz and push it away again.  And then one more time.  I’m getting frustrated at this piece of fuzz.  Why is it in there?  Why won’t it stay away?  UGH!  I finally picked it up and put it on the side and it got me thinking…

This is my life.  I am literally sitting in my own filth not evening thinking of forgiving myself for cussing in front of #3 on Monday.  I push away thoughts and sins all the time...pushing them away as they eventually float back…as they float back to my head.  Sometimes something reminds me of those moments and sometimes it just pops in my head without any reason. 

I have other things that float to the surface…things I should have said, should have thought, should have done in different situations.  Why do they float back?  Why do they come back to the surface?Very few times do I give these things to God…like REALLY give these things to Him.  Like that piece of fuzz that I picked up…it will still be there.  How do I get rid of it?  Throw it away…let it go down the drain…flush it down the toilet…why can’t I do that with stuff that actually matters?  Fuzz doesn’t matter…but the things that come back in my head and heart DO come back.  And my head and heart matter.  I want to flush it away, throw it away, watch that thing go down the drain.  And when I talk to God about it and really listen, it actually does go away…or He gives me a way to get over it and learn a lesson from it. 

And those phrases that kept going through my head?  Well, let me tell you, those are from satan.  He is sooooo good at throwing that “pastor’s wife” and “you’re a Christian” card at me.  I wanna take that card and punch him in the face with it (maybe I need a lesson on self-control).  Stuff like that didn’t go through my head when Hubby worked at Walgreen’s…or WKU…nothing like “you’re a wife of a WKU employee” ever crossed my mind. 

So as I finished the not so relaxing bath today, I realized something…something that I already knew, but needed to be reminded of…I am STILL a Christian even though I cussed in front of my kiddo.  It’s not something that I’m proud of…at all.  But I’m gonna mess up.  I’m gonna screw up.  I’m gonna be wrong.  I’m gonna regret things.  But I’m also proud to say that no matter way, I’m STILL a child of God.  I’m never going to be perfect…and I’ll be the first to say that I’m a Christian, pastor’s wife, mother of three and I will always be…and I’ll also always be messing up in Our Life By Numbers. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A New Chapter

Have you ever been in the middle of your life and it just hits you that you're in a new chapter?  I don't mean that it gradually comes up on you and you're like "oh, hey, this must be a new point in my life" kinda thing.  I mean like "a semi-truck just hit you and you're left standing there not knowing how it happened, but you know that you're at a time in your life that will never be the same as long as you live and you don't really know if you like this point in your life" kinda thing.  I'm there.  And it's been hard to come to the realization that I'm here.

It all started when we moved from Ohio to Kentucky.  We've all been there (not the moving, but where I'm going with this)...where we have to make new friends.  I don't really like to make new friends...mostly because I'm very guarded cuz I don't like to get hurt, I don't like to be judged, and let's face it, friendships are hard and take a lot of time and energy and growing.  I'm an extrovert by nature...and I know lots of people...but to let them in my inner circle, well, that takes a lot of walls being torn down and I'll be honest, I like my walls.

When we came here, I immediately met some fabulous people.  I wasn't gonna let them in, but they were fabulous.  In fact, I really was shocked when we decided to host a life group and God put these people in our group.  It took time to let them in...first I let them in my house.  Then I let them in talking to me during the week instead of just life group.  Then I let them in my life.  Yeah, they just tore down those walls and walked right on in...and never have I once regretted it.

So we've been friends with these people for a decade (that makes it seem more dramatic). We've done life with these people.  We've shared secrets.  We've been in our children's lives.  We've lived life together.  And let me tell you, if you've never been in a life group or aren't in one now, you're missing out.  I could not be where I am today with these family.  It's the most amazing...and scariest...feeling in the world to trust people that you love.  When I talk about our life group, I talk about my family...cuz they truly are family and we go through the good, bad, and ugly together...and STILL love each other in the end.

Anyhoo, I'm at a music conference this month and I get a text from Hubby that my friend's mom died.  Now...before I go on, I will tell you that my friend knows that I hate the words "passed away".  It seems ridiculous to me.  I remember my grandfather's funeral and how everybody said that he "passed away" and I was like "passed away to what...didn't he die".  I know it's PC to say "pass away", but, shockingly, I'm not much PC when it comes to this.  Call it what it is, my grandfather died.  Don't sugar coat it.  I know he's in Heaven.  I know he's with God...but he didn't "pass away" to get there...he just died.

Okay, so my friend's mom has died.  I am sitting in the den of my hotel room watching HGTV and eating soup and I literally started sobbing.  Why in the world am I sobbing?  I kept thinking "it's not my mom, it's not my family member, why can't I get it together".  I can't even talk to Hubby when he calls.  I cannot get my act together.  I don't mean a few tears.  I'm talking an ugly, disgusting cry.  Don't get me wrong, I have met this woman numerous times throughout the time of knowing my friend.  Such a sweet woman...loved her family...was such a special part in the lives of her grandchildren...a remarkable lady that I am so glad that I got to know and spend time with her...but I knew her daughter.  I did life with her daughter.

As I sat in bed that night, I kept crying.  At this point, someone might think something is seriously wrong with me...and then it hit me...a cold, hard, ugly truth...I'm at the point in my life where my friend's parents are dying.  And then a whirlwind of emotions came running through my head...but the one that wouldn't go away was...I am at the point of my life where our parents are getting older and they will eventually die.


And they do.  I've talked with a few people about this that have said "yes...I've thought about this and it scares me".  Well, congratulations cuz it scares me too.  I've had friends and family die around me all my life.  I've never been sheltered from that kind of stuff, but now that I'm older, it hits harder.  I still cry about my grandfather's death and Hubby's grandparents death.  These are people that I love dearly and they died.  And now people that I love dearly have people that they love dearly that are dying.

I get the circle of life.  I understand that people are born and people die.  I get that it's a happy occasion when people that have a relationship with God die and they are going to live in heaven in a much better life than we could ever fathom here on earth.  But it still hurts.

And then another emotion hit...I have feelings...and have feelings for my friends that have become family.  I was upset because I knew that my friend was hurting.  It was something that I was very confused about.  I knew this sweet lady that had died, but I didn't know the ins and outs about her.  I know her family because they are my family.  I was hurting because her family was hurting.  It was weird...almost like a revelation.  Am I getting soft in my old age or are these emotions going to start pouring out my heart and eyes at the drop of a hat?

So for two weeks, anytime I thought about my friend, I've had tears in my eyes.  Tonight, as I type this, I have tears in my eyes for a friend who's dad isn't doing well.  I feel like "new" me is an emotional basket case.  I feel so weak.  Yes, I said it, I feel weak.  I've always been one to act (see how I know it was an act) strong because that's what everybody needed me to do and I felt like I needed to do it for me.  And being a pastor's wife sure hasn't helped.  I hear the pain in people's voices and see the pain in their eyes sometimes before they even tell me anything.  I've cried with people as we sit in silence about things that I never thought I'd show any emotion about...and I can't tell you that I've never left a conversation thinking "what in the world is wrong with me...get your act together Kelley".

So friends, there it is...I'll be 40 years old in August...I've got a loving and fabulous Hubby...I've got three boys that I love dearly that keep me on my toes...I've let people in my life while I'm kicking and screaming to build those walls back up...and my new chapter is that I am allowing myself to show emotion...or God is just saying that He's tearing down a few more walls in my life.

And I've also learned that I love my life group apparently more than my mind let on.  I don't know what I'd do without this group of people.  I know that they have been with us through some of the hardest times in my entire life...we have cried together...laughed together...held each other accountable...been frustrated together...gotten/given advice to each other...been real together...and I can honestly say that I'm honored to do life with them...and completely happy that they tore down the walls in my life whether I was expecting it or wanting it and now they are all a part of Our Life By Numbers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I took #1 on this trip three years ago...just a mommy and son trip.  A trip that #1 still talks about today...the food we ate, the museums we went to, the talks we had...he barely remembers the test...he remembers the trip he took with his mommy.

So when #2 got the letter that he qualifies to take the test, I prayed that he would pick me to go.  One day, he won't want to spend time with his mommy...he'll want to hang out with the guys...and I just wanted this time with him...AND I GOT IT!!!!!

Friday, #2 and I left for Louisville.  We got up and packed our last minute items and headed to Chick-Fil-A...I mean, we've got to start the day off with a great breakfast!  We met Hubby there and you could see the excitement in #2's face!  He was ready to go on this trip!  We ate and said our goodbyes to Hubby and then got on the road.  

So my dreams were that we'd talk all the way to Louisville...have some bonding conversations...laugh a little...make some memories.  Instead, it was like this...
...yes, this kid slept the entire way there.  Seriously dude, are you kidding me?  I tried to stay up by listening to the radio and talking to myself.  I mean, if we're being serious, the kid is just like me...if I'm in the car more than 45 minutes, I fall asleep.  I have to remember that this kid is a mini-me.  

As we got into Louisville, I tried to wake #2 up from his deep slumber.  Let me tell you, he was in a DEEP sleep.  He wasn't moving and then...
Me:  #2...we are Louisville!
#2:  WHAT?!?!?!  WE'RE HERE!?!??!? was like I offered him gold.  He was wide awake and taking the city in...looking and asking questions about all the buildings...talking about the players pictures on the buildings...asking when we're going to our first event.  

We get to our first escape room.  #2 has wanted to do that for a while and I thought that is something that we could do together...we're both competitive...we both work together well...and the only problem is that we'd be locked in a room together and if we started fighting, it would be like I'm arguing with least the peeps behind the camera would get a kick out of it.  

So we start this room and #2 is frustrated 10 minutes into the event.  He's really good at figuring things out, but he doesn't like the clock.  In the end, we didn't finish the room...he was bummed...and I mean BUMMED.  He didn't want his picture taken, but did it anyway.  And when he got in the car, he said he wanted to do it again and beat it.  Let's get real, this is where we differ...I'm not paying another $50 to do a room that we 3/4s of the way already accomplished.  But I did tell him that maybe we can do that this summer at one of the places in BG.  He'll hold me to that...I'm quite confident that the first day of summer I will hear "when are we going to the escape room".  

After the escape room, we decided to go to the hotel room.  When we got to the front desk and as I'm checking in, #2 looked at me...
#2:  Ummm...Mommy...
Me:  Yes?
#2:  We don't belong here.  
Me:  Yes honey...this is where we have reservations.
#2:  No, we don't belong here.
Me:  Why not?
#2:  Because this place is way too fancy for us., I will agree, the front was a little nice.  A little nicer than a few hotels that I've stayed in the past...
Front Desk Lady:  Okay, you're on the first floor.
Me:  Ummm...I'm not really a first floor person.
Front Desk Lady:  Oh....
#2:  She's afraid someone will crawl up the wall.
Front Desk Lady:  OH!
Me: you have something on the second floor?
Front Desk Lady:  No...our first floor is the only thing that we're booking because of all the construction.
Me:  Construction?
Front Desk Lady:  Yes, our hotel is being renovated. my anxiety is through the roof because now I have to stay on the first floor...and then we went to our room.  

After we passed the lobby, our eyes were opened...the paint had been scraped off the walls in the hallway, the carpet was ripped off the floor, we walked into the next hallway and the wallpaper was coming off the walls, the lights didn't have all their lightbulbs...#2 and I looked at each other and we could read each other's minds...we were very scared of what our hotel room was going to look like.  

We opened up our hotel room and the room was surprisingly nice.  We got all of our clothes out and checked the place out...
#2:  What are you doing with that piece of paper?
Me:  Nothing.
#2:  Seriously...what are you doing?
Me:  Checking for bugs.
#2:  Do you do this every time you stay in a hotel room?
Me:  Maybe.
#2:  Interesting.
...he says interesting like I'm nuts, but he sure did ask a lot of questions and started looking at the paper as a checked around the place.  

I then went to the window and closed the curtains....
Me:  Will you bring me a with the clips?
#2:  For what?  The closet is right here.
Me:  I need it for the window.
#2:  What??!?!?
Me:  Just bring me one.
#2:  I can't get it off the rod. I go in the closet area and when I come back, #2 is looking out the curtains...
#2:  Waving at that guy.
Me:  WHAT!?!?!?
#2:  There's a guy out here...he parked his car under our window.  I thought it would be rude not to wave.
....and I proceed to clip the curtains together with the hanger....
Me:  THIS is why I don't want to stay on the first floor.  THIS is why I clip the curtains with a hanger.  
#2:  Interesting.  

#2 gets ready for the pool...second event for the day!  He is so excited to go swimming in January...and then we get to the pool.  First of all, 1/2 of the pool is taken up with lanes.  Then there's a group of 70+ year old ladies who are floating and gossiping in the middle of the rest of the pool.  #2 wants to swim and at this point, he can only swim in the shallow end.  He's not happy.  Goodness gracious, I cannot make anything go right on this trip.  I finally let him go to the deep end to swim and he's goofing off for a while and then he gets tired and realizes he can't swim very well so he uses a noodle.  He uses that for a bit and then slips...he comes up...
#2:  I'm tired and I'm thinking I need to get out.  
Me:  Good call...let's go.
#2:  Hey...there's a shower right there...can I go in and shower off and then go back to the room?
Me:  Sure.  I'll wait right outside the door.
...the kid goes in and five seconds later....
#2:  Nevermind...there's a naked man in there and I'm just not doing thank you.  
...and we immediately head back to the hotel room...I mean, after I yelled "that's disgusting" loud enough for that man to hear.

#2 decides he wants to go to Red Lobster to get a lobster pizza...and when I found my gift card, we both smiled and knew it was fate.  We get there and he asks me to sit on his side of the table so we can play tic tac toe.  We did a ton of people watching...which we probably should have gotten in trouble for...we watched it rain outside and a lady pulled her coat over her head so she wouldn't get her hair wet...we watched the couple across from us complain about the lettuce in the salad and even though she complained to the waiter about how much she hated iceberg lettuce, she still order that salad, we heard three ladies complain about the temperature of their coffee...#2 and I literally sat in the booth laughing so hard and nobody knew why.  We were the happiest people in a restaurant FULL of complainers.  I think it made the day of the people who worked there because we were so loud and when people would complain, we laughed even harder and the waiters would look at us and laugh.  They knew what was up...and they were laughing at us because they knew they couldn't laugh at the people they were waiting on.

After that we decided that dessert was in since we both love cheesecake, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory.  I haven't been there in forever and when you stop and see all of those cheesecakes and narrow it down to one, it takes a while.  We took our desserts to go and headed to the car...ready to head home...but first, one more stop.

#2 doesn't want anybody to know, but he's got a really big heart.  He wanted to get his brothers a stuffed animal since he was getting to go on the trip.  I couldn't find a toy store, so we ended up at a bookstore and we searched for a stuffed animal.  He picked one out for each of his brothers and himself and then headed back to the fancy hotel.

I got ready for bed and #2 took his shower and we sat on top of the covers and ate cheesecake...
#2:  This is the best ever!  
Me:  What?
#2:  We are actually eating IN bed!  I mean, I've always wanted to do this and now my dream has come true!!!!
...apparently I hold back some of my number's dreams.  ;-)

Bedtime was coming so we brushed our teeth and I pulled one of the things on the door over the peep hole...
#2:  What are you doing?  Did you just rip that off?
Me:  I'm covering the peep hole.
#2:  So no one will see in our room?
Me:  Yes.
#2:  (huge sigh)  Okay...

So I pick up the phone to get a wake-up call.  No dial tone.  I'm pushing the button over and over.  What?  Maybe the phone isn't plugged in.  Check plug.  It's in.  No dial tone.  No noise.  The phone doesn't work at all.  We're going to die in this room and I can't call out to warn anybody.

As we were going to sleep, I realized I forgot the fan.  I had no cold air and I had no noise...which then made me hear every little sound.  I could hear the cars outside our window and that's when my brain started racing...
What if someone crawled up the wall and broke in our room through our window?  What would #2 do?  Could I protect us?  Why are we on the first floor?  Why didn't I just change hotels?  What if my phone dies and I can't get in touch with anybody?  Why doesn't the phone work?  This was a bad decision.  I'm a horrible mom.  I need air.  I need to make sure the window is locked.  If I look outside the window, will I see anybody outside the window?  I'll run.  Check window.  Window locked.  Jump into bed.  Plug phone up.  No plug near bed....WHAT?!?!?!?  Only plug is across the room.  Now the killer that is going to break into our room will also grab my phone.  Cue sometime I feel asleep and woke up many, many times throughout the night.

We got up for this continental least that was coming with this hotel.  We get to the room with the food...oh...cereal, biscuits and eggs that look like foam in the shape of a circle.  Seriously.  As we're eating, we discuss the test.  It's no big deal...just practice.

We drive to the school and it's it has all weekend.  We wait in the car and we're just talking about our weekend.  We finally get out and head inside for this big 3 1/2 hour test.  As we are sitting at the table after check-in, I'm trying to calm #2's nerves...
#2:  I'm so nervous.  What if I don't do well?
Me:  Think of it this way...this test is like your football or basketball practice...nobody is keeping score, this practice doesn't count.  This test is to help you when you play the real game...which, in this case, will be high school.  Don't fret over a test...a test tells a small portion of who you really are.  You're a Christian, you're an athlete, you're kind...none of that shows up on a test, but that actually matters more.  
#2:  Thanks Mommy...I love you!, I'm telling you, that it's not one minute later that the lady across the table from us is scaring her daughter to death over this test....and she's kinda scaring me...
Lady:  This test is everything!  This test will get you into the best colleges!  You have to concentrate! We're studied for months for this test!  You have got to do well!  
Daughter:  (tears in her eyes)  I will mother.  I won't let you down.
...okay, first of all, she isn't getting into college in the sixth grade by this test.  And when she said "mother" I almost laughed out loud.  I mean, the pressure and the formal name had me chuckling inside.

When they called #2's room number, he gave me a hug and then looked at me....
#2:  Mommy...she has a banana.  That's her snack!  What do I do?!?!?!?
Me:  Calm down.  Tell the adult.  Don't sit beside her.  Don't hold her hand...and no kissing. 
#2:  (laughing and shaking his head)  Love you Mommy. 

After the test, #2 came out smiling...
Me:  Hey little man!  How did it go?
#2:  (smiling from ear to ear)  Oh it was terrible.  I did horrible.  I knew nothing.  But now I know what it's gonna be like when the real game is. 

We then decided to eat at a place that got rave reviews...Jonella's.  That was the best chicken I've had!  #2 loved it...
#2:  Next year when we come to take the test, I wanna come here again to eat!
What I heard...
#2:  I love you so much and I pick you for our trip next year!  

We headed home...still in the rain...and again, the kid slept all the home home.  This time it took him less time to go to sleep.  So I put on some music and sang all the way home.  When we were about 30 minutes away from home #2 woke up and I turned down the music...
#2:  Oh no...turn it up Mommy...I love to hear you sing.  
...and this week...and that why this weekend ranks up there as one of the best Mommy and Son trips ever in Our Life By Numbers!


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye Shoes...I'm Gonna Miss You....

I am hard on shoes...REALLY hard on shoes.  All day long, I'm on my feet...dancing, walking, exercising, moving around.  I'm also in different kinds of, rainy, snowy, cold...all this not only in every day wear, but also while doing car rider duty (so truly in Kentucky all this weather could happen in the 30 minutes that I'm outside helping kiddos get in the car).

Next thing...I'm really cheap.  I don't like to spend money on shoes.  I mean, they go on my feet.  I walk on these shoes all day long.  Yes...I KNOW that I should have a great pair of shoes so I won't have back trouble, but I just can't seeing paying so much for shoes.  Hubby has a total difference of opinion.  He worked in a boot store in Nashville all through college and thinks that shoes should be fitted properly and should be changed at the first sign of any problems.

Back to my shoes...
I've had these babies for two years.  They have gone through so much...concerts, sports games, church, teaching elementary music, exercising, funerals, weddings, name it, these shoes have been with me.  Holes don't bother me...but one day out in car rider duty it was cold...and rainy...and when I took off my shoes, my socks were soaked.  It's like a little piece of me was dying.

I know you think I'm nuts...and I am...but I love these shoes!  I got them at a great deal (remember, I'm cheap) and they remind me of my childhood when Keds were actually a brand people knew.  I love the pattern because it could truly go with anything...and I wore them with EVERYTHING.  They are comfortable...they let my feet move when I was dancing with my kiddos.  They kept up with me while I worked.  They are part of my main part.

So we went to Opry Mills with some close friends yesterday and there was the Converse store.  I've never owned a pair of Converse.  I'm not big on name brands (remember, I was wearing Keds).  There was a sale...a 40% off Hubby coaxed me into entering the store...he even kept the kiddos out of the store so I could look.

I walked straight towards the back...that's where the sale was going on.  I looked at the entire wall of shoes.  They were beautiful!  Red one, gold ones, lace ones, colorful ones, apple ones, zip up ones, ones with was a never ending wall of amazing shoes...and at 40% off!  It was amazing!

And then I stopped.  I turned around and walked out of the store.  Hubby looked at me...
Hubby:  Did you find something you liked?

Me:  Yes.

Hubby:  Well...why didn't you get it?  

Me:  They're just shoes.  And the price is still really high.  Maybe I'll come back later.  
...and so we went on our way with our friends.  We had a great time playing games, eating dinner...and then it was time.  It was "shop or go home".  We decided to shop.  We went to the Converse store.  Feet sweating, heart racing....I went to the back of the store again...this time with my family.

As I went through the shoes with my eyes, I picked up a pair.  They were beautiful...and high tops...and still expensive....

Salesperson:  Those are a great pair of shoes.  They have a Nike insole and are one of our best product...I don't know why those are 40% off.  

Me:  Yes, but still with 40%, that's a high price. 

Salesperson:  No's 40% off that orange sticker.

Me:  So you mean I won't even pay $40 for these shoes?

Salesperson:  Ummmm....yeah.  

Hubby:  You should get two pair!  

I sat and picked up the shoe out of the box.  And then my old faithful shoes started talking to me...

Old Faithful Shoes:  What are you doing?  We've been through so much.

My Feet:  You have holes in you.  

Old Faithful Shoes:  That helps you breath better. 

My Feet:  And the rain?  I mean, seriously. 

Old Faithful Shoes:  Think of it as cleansing your feet.

My Feet: need to be thrown away.  You've got holes in you heels and your sides.  You've been a great pair of shoes, but I need something better.  People are going to start talking about her...that she can't afford shoes.  You don't want that, do you?

Old Faithful Shoes:  No...I love her.  We've been through so much.  

My Feet:  I know...and we appreciate you...we love you...but it's time.  It's time to let her go.  It's time to let her get a pair of shoes that are new...that fit...she needs that new shoe smell.  

Old Faithful Shoes:  I'm going to miss you all.  I'm going to miss the concerts every winter.  I'm going to miss running on her treadmill.  I'm going to miss making sure all the kiddos get in their car and go home after school each day.  But yes, it's time to go.  I love you...

And we came home with a new pair of shoes.  This afternoon when we were getting our shoes on to leave, I hesitated.
Me:  Maybe I should wait to wear these until Tuesday.

Hubby:  No...wear your new shoes.
I took the Converse shoe box out of the bag and pulled out the shoes.  I felt the sides and checked them one more time for holes.
...I gently placed my old faithful shoes in the Converse shoe box and into the Converse bag.  I placed the bag on the counter that the trash can sits under.  I turn away and then turn back one more time to see the bag.  Was this a good idea?  What if these new ones hurt my feet?  What happens if I don't move like I did before?  I mean, I'm 39 years old, I can't lose any moves I've had with my old faithful shoes.

I remember how excited #2 was when he received his new shoes for Christmas...
#2:  I will be able to run faster!  I'll be able to hit the goal each time!  I'm gonna be better with these shoes! I decided to try it out...maybe I'll dance better...maybe move faster...maybe I'll be a better teacher with these shoes in Our Life By Numbers!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

As I listen to others talk about 2016, I see that people struggled...families were torn apart, friends got mad at one another, jobs were lost, children made bad choices, sickness happened, loved ones died...I see life just stunk for some people...and I'm sorry.  I truly am sorry.  I've had those years where I wish we could fast forward through the entire year and never speak of it again.  Years were you looked back at it and ask yourself "how in the world did I make it".

We've had job lose.

We've had fertility issues.

We've had deaths.

We've had our children make bad choices.

We've had cancer.

We've had family members that we want to punch in the stomach.

We've had friends that we want to say "WHAT IN THE WORLD".

We've had bad years...did you notice that I said yearS...not singular...we've had bad YEARS!  Being a human/Christian/man/woman/old/young/black/white doesn't make us prone to more bad things or makes us...relatable.  And yes, it stinks.  Alright, it downright sucks.  There are times I don't want to be relatable.  There are times that I don't want to use a family issue as part of my testimony.  There are times I've told God "'ve got a lot more faith in me than I do, so stop it".  I've gotten frustrated...heck, I've sat in the den and yelled at God...and also my family.  When I look back on the stuff we've gone through, I see a silver lining in each of them...though hindsight is 20/20 and so badly I wish I had seen that silver lining during the entire issue that we were going through.  I also see how incredibly bad I've dealt with things in the past...and I see how tense I was am...and how anxious I could be am...and how I don't always learn the lesson until way later...sometimes much later...

And I'm sure someone will say "what about the politics in 2016"?  I mean, if your person won, you're on cloud nine. If your person lost, you think the world is coming to an end.  Either way, surely you can look at 2017 as a fresh, new start?  And if not, it's going to be a rough year for you and it hasn't even started...not really a way I would want to start.  I mean, let's at least let the people who were elected do something stupid before you name them as losers...and looking back, I'm pretty sure I could come up with a thing or two about anybody in politics that did something I disagree with educationally, financially, spiritually, physically, mentally...

So why did I write this?  Is this another "let's start off the new year right" blog?  Well, yes...but for me.  Maybe I need to be accountable and this is the best way for me to do it...let everybody know so they can ask how it's going...or tell me that I'm not really following what I wanted to do.  Maybe I just need to see in writing what I want to do...need to do...have to 2017.

I'm not saying that 2017 is going to be a bed of roses.  I know that there will be deaths and there will be heartbreaks.  There will be times I want to scream and there will be times that I will give the death stare to my children that will dare them to try whatever they are doing one more time.  I will be frustrated.  I will be scared.  I will have to make decisions with Hubby that could change our entire lives.  Nobody said that life is easy.

So what do I want to do in 2017?  Well, here's my list...I'm sure there will be more added to it.  I'm sure I will fail at some of these.  I'm hoping I succeed at some.  I will make mistakes.  I will take steps back.  There are things on here that I know I won't be able to guarantee, but I want to start off with 2017 being a positive year for our family....

1.  I want to put God first.  I want to think about how God wants me to do things.  I want to take a step back and think and pray before making decisions.  I want God everything.  I want to continue reading my Bible and writing in my prayer/praise journal, but I want to dig deeper into it.  I want to melt on the words that God has given me and use them in my life.

2.  I want to be the best wife for Hubby.  I want to support him in his decisions and career.  I want to be the one he confides in and laughs with.  I want him to know that I appreciate what he does for me and our family.  I want to be his best friend!

3.  I want to be the mom that takes care of her children and is a good example.  I want to help them in life, but don't do everything for them.  I want to strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman...though that's a lot of expectations and I can already tell you, I won't live up to that one...but I can strive to be like her.  ;)

4.  I want to be the teacher that shows Jesus in all of my actions and words.  I want my class to be fun, creative, educational, and different.

5.  I want to teach the kiddos at Crossland Morgantown about having a relationship with Jesus.  I want to build relationships with their parents so we can be a force to reckon with when it comes to sharing the news about Jesus in Morgantown.

6.  I want to listen to the guiding of God...cuz there's a lot of talking that goes on in our relationship and it's mostly me doing it.

7.  I want to be healthy...not to be a model (cuz let's face it, I'm not), but to keep up with all the things we do in life and help with my heart and blood pressure.  So I'm going to continue my smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch...but now I need to get back to exercising.

8.  I want to write a book.  Is that gonna happen?  No.  But I've always wanted to write a book about being a mom and what's another year of putting it on my "to do" list...

9.  I want to use less hand sanitizer...maybe hug more...okay, let's not push it.  I'm pretty sure that less hand sanitizer is more of a goal I can meet.

10.  I want to worry less about money and get out of debt.  We've made stupid decisions in our life and we're still paying them off (and then I had to add graduate school to that).  I would love for someone to just leave me some money in unmarked bills and let me pay off things...but since that isn't going to happen, I hope that Hubby and I work our plan this year and really focus on getting out of debt.

11.  On the flip side, I want to take the family on vacation.

12.  I want to learn how to cook.  Let's not kid ourselves.

13.  I wanna be more open when I need help.  Yeah...that's probably not going to happen either.

14.  I want to clean out the garage and be able to park in it.

15.  I want to be able to use the remotes ANY time that I sit on the couch to watch TV without yelling at the remotes.

16.  I want to make sure that we have nights when it's just the five of us...and we have nothing to do.

17.  I want to not yank out my teenager's smart aleck tongue...this one is iffy on the hopes of succeeding.

18.  I want to evolve a MagiKarp on Pokemon Go.

19.  I want to pick up my prescriptions on time at the pharmacy...because I know they are sick of me waiting the 10 days and then re-shelving it only for me to come on day 11 needing it.

20.  I want to wipe the ceiling fans and vacuum the stairs more than I me, it's embarrassing.

21.  I want to find something that will build someone up and help them in life.

So...there it is.  I'm sure there are a million other things I need to do, but these are my top ones.  I can already look at this list and realize that if I was basing my entire 2017 on these, then it's going to be a rough year...but I'm going to do the best I can.  I'm going to try to let things a friend keeps telling me, I'm going to start bending like a pretzel.  I know I'll see crumbs...and I might even break into pieces, but I'm going to be the best pretzel I can be in Our Life By Numbers!