Monday, April 29, 2013

Thirty Days of Truth: Day 7

Day 07. Someone who has made your life worth living for.

My husband. Duh.

I won't tell you that our life together has been an easy one but I will tell you that every single second has been worth it. He knows me better than anyone else in this world. He has seen me at my absolute worst. And he loves me anyway. Who can ask for more than that? That is the kind of love that absolutely makes my life worth living for. His love is a precious gift from God. One I don't deserve and could never be good enough to earn. One that I don't ever plan to let go of, not for a single second.

This is us the year we met.

Isn't he a cutie!?!

I had braces so I didn't want to smile! 

 I can't imagine my life without this love. It has shaped my world. For better (never for worse) and defined who I am. Because of this love, I am never alone, I am part of a team, he will always have my back against the world. And I will always have his. We may drive each other crazy, but we will never give up. We have come too far for that.

Every time I see this it makes me smile.

I thank God everyday for this precious man. I pray for God's protection and love to wrap around him and keep him safe. I am grateful beyond words for his love.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My love of Television

So, this week's writing prompt for GBE2 is Television. Now, this is a subject I can get into! I love TV! I can lose myself for hours and hours in shows like "Doctor Who", "Falling Skies", and "Castle" (which you may recall I write weekly reviews of for Fanbolt). Basically I love stories that are mysterious and/or fantastical. I am not really a fan of "reality" shows, though I have been known to watch a few with my hubby.

In our home we have 2 TVs, a large one in the living room which is considered "his" and a smaller one in our bedroom that is "hers". Mostly "Hers" is used for watching shows that only I like, while "His" is used for lots and lots of stuff that only mildly interests me as well as the handful of shows we both enjoy (Defiance is one of our current favorites). I use my DVR to record all "my" shows. I don't think I have watched a single one of them "live" since we got the DVR.

I have to admit, I worry sometimes that TV has too big a hold on my life. It is such an easy thing for me to lose myself in the other worlds represented there. To let myself get sucked into all the imagination and mystery. I hear stories from time to time about families who have cut TV from their lives all together and I wonder if I could do that. I mean, my mom hasn't turned on her TV in probably 2 years and she doesn't miss it at all. Just the thought makes me cringe though. Oh, I know I would survive if TV went away. But I don't think I could ever be the one to make the decision to turn it off and walk away forever. What does that say about me? Nothing good I am sure.

See, I worry. But not enough to just walk away from all the stories available to me at the push of a button. Call me weak. I will admit to that.

What about you? Do you watch Television? If you do, what type of shows do you enjoy and how do you balance your TV time with the rest of your day?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Funnies-Mental Health Edition

This has been a long and difficult week. I am really fighting some serious depression demons (took me 2 hours to force myself out of bed this morning). In honor of my particular brand of crazy I am dedicating this weeks funnies to mental health! Enjoy!

Many many cookies


Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Funnies

I KNEW it was good for something!!!

I am surprised I don't see this expression more often at my house, to be honest! ;)

If you find one will you ask them for me??

I get into more trouble that way....

Kinda does, doesn't it????

That's it for today folks. Short and sweet. I hope you found a smile or two here. I know I did!

Have a beautiful day and be a blessing to the world around you!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Have you ever asked God "why"?

Why Lord, am I struggling? Why am I going through hard times? Worse yet, why are the people I love suffering? Where are you Lord? Why do these horrible things happen to such good people?

I'll admit it, I have. After years of watching my husband try to cope with unrelenting pain from an accident that occurred back when he was a volunteer firefighter, I have questioned God.
And it isn't just the pain (as if that weren't enough) but the struggles with managing the medications that make something resembling normal life possible. Medicines that are addictive and yet so vital to his day to day life. Today he has great control of his doses and a schedule that he watches closely. He also has my understanding and support. But he didn't always (a hard admission for me to make). For years I didn't understand, couldn't understand what he was dealing with. How could I really, having never experienced, this pain he lives with? In my ignorance I judged him, I questioned the need for all the medication, questioned his honesty, questioned everything. To be fair, we went through some really tough times, times when he did not have such good control. Times when the medicine controlled him instead of him controlling it. We fought and struggled against each other for the longest time before we realized what the real enemy was. Gradually we found each other again and learned to trust each other again. And we learned to stand as a united front against the pain, the medications, and the world. Because the majority of the world is just like I was, they can't understand. Unless you have lived it, or lived long enough with someone who lives with it; I don't know that true understanding is possible.

Yes, I have questioned God. I have lain in bed in the dark of night and cried because my husband wasn't there, couldn't be there in the bed with me because of this unrelenting pain. I wish I could tell you that I now have the answers. I don't. I may never understand why someone I love suffers so. But I have learned something. I have learned that if we allow it, God can take even our darkest moments and use them to bless others. I know this because I experienced it first hand just recently.

I have a (cyber) friend who is in a struggle very similar to my husband's struggle. There was an accident, multiple surgeries and procedures, and years of pain and pain medications. A few weeks ago she went through a really tough time. She was scheduled to see her doctor to get her medication filled but had to reschedule due to a family crisis. Then she found herself out of medicine and facing the weekend alone. Well, not quite alone. See, God had a plan. A way to take some of my hardest life lessons (and my husband's) and use them to help her through.

His plan actually began with her crisis. We private messaged on Facebook a few times about that and then exchanged phone numbers and began texting. Nothing profound or anything, just your run of the mill "how are you's" and "you can do this" kind of thing. So, when her long weekend arrived, we had already established a pattern of communication. It was easy, at least for me, to reach out and offer encouragement and support. Maybe it wasn't so easy for her, I don't know. Admitting the struggle is hard, though leaning on a relative stranger during those times can make it easier (voice of therapy and experience here). Anyway, all weekend I was just a text away. We would ramble on for a while, then she would fade out (resting or otherwise occupied). Then when she needed a boost she would be back. It wasn't anything overwhelmingly miraculous, just one person being there for another. But in a way, if you think about it, it was kind of miraculous. Because God was able to use me in some small way to help someone else. He was able to use our hardships to bless another person.

I still pray everyday for a miracle, I still have days when I cry out "why?". I probably always will, it's just part of being human. But in the meantime, I find comfort in knowing that our struggles are not in vain, that God can use us, use our hardships to help someone else.....

Or, more accurately, when it seems He is silent. Sometimes I think I can't hear Him because I am too distracted by life....

Don't forget to check out my Thursday Thankfulness post today. And please keep the communities of Boston, Massachusetts and West, Texas in your prayers. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thirty Days of Truth: Day 6

Day 06. Something you hope you never have to do.

This one is easy. I hope I never have to bury anyone else I love. I know it is unlikely that this hope will be fulfilled. I accept the fact that I will one day have to say goodbye to my mother and my father (though I refuse to consider the loss of my sisters or husband). I have already lost both my step parents, all 4 grandparents, my husband's grandparents (who raised him), & 2 childhood friends. That seems like more than enough, thank you world. I want to keep who I have left, to wrap them in a protective shell of love never let them leave me.

Is that really too much to ask for?

Yeah, I know it is. So, I can only hope and pray that until that day comes that each and every person I care for will know it. That my actions and my words will express my constant affection for them. And when that moment of goodbye comes, I pray I will handle it with grace and courage. I want no regrets.

Take the hint folks, if you have a relationship that needs mending, get to mending. Pick up the phone, send an email, write a letter. Reach out to those you love, don't waste a single second.

Thank you Lord, for the love you have surrounded me with, for the family and friends I love and who love me in return. Thank you for the grace that you pour into my heart daily. Protect and keep my loved ones, pour that grace over their lives as well. Bless whoever stumbles upon my words. let these simple words be a blessing to them. Thank you for everything you have sacrificed for us all. Amen

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

It's been a quiet weekend around here. I have done a lot of reading (finished The Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer, you can check out my review on Goodreads) and some house and yard work. Enough to make me feel I have accomplished something anyway. Oh, and I had dinner with my cousin (in law) and bought some cute baby bibs and a onesie for my upcoming grand-baby. I love the fact that my cousin is pregnant with my grand baby! LOL! For those of you shaking your heads in confusion, the mommy-to-be is the daughter of my best friend (who also happened to be my husband's cousin) who died several years ago. I am the honorary Grandma in my dear friend's stead. Our granddaughter's name is Rebecca Leigh and is expected in July. This is the first time I have been able to see Ashley since before Christmas, so it was fun to take her to dinner and spend a little money on the baby. :)

Other than dinner with Ashley I stuck close to the house because the hubby was having a lot of pain and didn't want to do much and I didn't want to leave him. Not that I could really do anything for him, but I hate for him to be alone at times like that. Often I have no choice due to work and other responsibilities, and I know it is hard for him to be alone with only pain to occupy his heart and mind. So, I like to stay close by when I can.

I did manage to take a few pictures of my world this weekend, want to see? :)

Cat nap

growing wild

Sunset on a cloudy day. So lovely

I am going to miss spring when it is gone.

On the left is Jonah, the right, Sassy. She is his best friend. Pretty sure she loves him even more than I do!

Finally I have this thought that I stumbled across in my Facebook feed. 

Love is louder when we realize that what people think or say about us doesn't really matter. It's how we use OUR voices and actions that matters.~from Love Is Louder

Such a simple truth, but one so easily ignored. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what other people think about us. So easy to allow ourselves to become consumed by concerns over what the world may say about our lives and how we live them. None of that really matters. What matters is that we follow our own inner voice and do our best to leave a positive mark on the world around us. 

That's all I have for this Sunday evening. It's getting late and I still have a few things to finish before I can go to sleep. I hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend and that tomorrow finds you excited to go out and conquer Monday! God Bless and thank you for stopping by to read my rambles! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday funnies

Good Morning and welcome to Friday!!

I am typing this post on my brand new (to me) laptop!! I've never had a laptop before, so I am super excited that the hubby found me one on the cheap (bought it from a friend for $100). Only problem is that our modem needs to be updated, it is so old that Windows 8 doesn't recognize it. So, no wireless internet. Not yet, anyway!! :)

Because of the new computer I had to start a new "funnies" file (gonna have to copy and move my other one, I just haven't gotten around to it yet) with pictures I grabbed from Facebook and Pinterest. I hope you enjoy them!

I knew there was a use for all this dust!

My first is FUN!!

I couldn't resist this one!!:)

This was me!

I hope these little snippets of humor made you smile...if so then be sure to share that smile with someone else! We could all use more happiness! 

Now let's get out there and make this day great!! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thirty Days of Truth: Day 5

Day 05. Something you hope to do in your life.

Really? Does this strike anyone else as being a question about dreams?? Okay, the word used here is "hope" but we know what the question is really saying, right? Tell us something you dream about doing.....

And here we are again. Just reading that question causes me to freeze up completely. Why? Simply put, my dreams seem impossible.

I dream of a day when my husband will be pain free. I hope for a morning when he will wake up from a good night's sleep and pain will not be the first thing he feels. When I can ask "how are you feeling?" and the answer will be an honest, happy, and carefree "great!".

I dream of a little (but not too little) house out in the country on the land where I grew up. Enough room for me, the hubby, and the herd of fur babies. To be close enough to my mom to help out, but in our own place so everyone has their privacy. I dream of sitting on my covered porch listening to the wind in the trees and feeling the peace that comes from being home, truly home.

And yes, I dream of a day when money will not be an issue, when my bills are paid when they arrive, not when my paycheck does (and then, never all of them at once). A day when we can travel for pleasure and not worry too much about our bank balance.

I have lesser dreams/hopes too. Dreams of attending a sci-fi convention, of learning to knit, and yes, even a slowly growing dream of writing something that someone is willing to pay for (not sure when that happened exactly, I never had the desire to write before this blog!). But it's the big ones that get me. Those are the ones that I have to struggle just to say aloud.

As a woman who professes to believe in a God who can do all things, I am ashamed of my fear. I am ashamed to admit that these dreams feel so impossible. I am ashamed, but I am also forgiven. I am human and imperfect. I am loved and cherished by a God who is the definition of perfection. Where my faith may falter, my God will never fail. I may feel the fear that my dreams are impossible, but I still believe in the God who says that he will give me the desires of my heart.

Lord, forgive my fear, teach me to trust you. And please, make my dreams come true.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday thoughts

So, this morning at church I overheard someone say (just teasing, of course) that if they hadn't come to church they would have to be at home doing chores. In other words, church was their escape. That brought back a flood of memories for me, because that is exactly why I started going to church when I was in my teens.

Our home was not a religious one. As far as I am aware my mother has been inside a church less than a dozen times in my lifetime. She is not a joiner, not comfortable in social situations, and I don't even really know if she truly believes in God at all. It is just something she doesn't really want to discuss. My step father was a religious man from his youth through his mid to late 30's, but by the time he married my mom (in his 60's) he had turned his back on church. I never even knew that he had once been an active member of the Catholic faith until after his death. (Side note, isn't it odd how easy it is to share your faith with perfect strangers and yet so impossibly hard to talk to your loved ones? Or is that just me?)

Anyway, in our home we did not attend church. It just wasn't a part of our lives. However, my parents made it clear that if I wanted to go to church, they would make that happen, and they did. When I hit my teens I started to get curious. Most of my friends attended the local Baptist Church and of course I wanted to be part of the group, to fit in. So my parents arranged for me to ride into town to church with a neighbor down the road who attended there. This was a lovely couple who picked me up every Sunday morning and evening, and every Wednesday evening. I was part of everything the church had to offer. I would love to tell you that I had this deep driving need to find God. What I really had was a deep driving need to get out of mowing grass, weeding the garden, cleaning horse stalls, and cleaning house. I swear my parents thought of me as built in slave labor!

Church really was my escape, my refuge from the (seemingly) never ending chores. When I started going I wasn't looking for God. Funny thing, I still found him. Another funny thing, somewhere along the way as I grew older I lost that sense of escape and refuge I went looking for to begin with. Being an adult is hard work. And sometimes I find myself treating my time in God's house as work, rather than the refuge he intends it to be. Overhearing that comment this morning reminded me how I used to feel when I was a kid. I want that feeling again. So, I am going to start trying to be more conscious of my attitude toward not only my time in church, but my overall relationship with God. After all, that is what it is all about, my relationship to my Father. And that should never be taken for granted.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Funnies


And I am never going to that gym again!

My hubby wishes he could do this.


And this is me!!
This Friday Funny brought to you by my OCD, because it won't let me get my butt up from the computer until this post is published!!

Have a great day!

this may be my favorite!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I am sooo HAPPY.....AGAIN!! :)

So, I came home from work this evening, sat down at the computer and began scrolling through my Facebook news feed. Hey, I had gone 9 whole hours without my FB fix, I needed it! :)

Anyway, here I was scrolling through the days events and there it was, a link to an article titled "Ten Things (or maybe less) I look for when picking an E-book, by Tamara Tipton". Wait, WHAT??? That's my article, it has my name on it! I wrote that! And I had no idea they had decided to use it, much less that it was going up on the Underground Book Reviews site today! Here is the link so you can see for yourself : LINK :)

I am still a bit in shock and I am not sure why. This isn't the first time I have had my work posted on another site after all. In fact, it's the second time this week on this one site. Maybe that's it. Or maybe it is just the wonder that someone thinks my thoughts are good enough for their site. It's one thing to write and post your own stuff, that definitely has it's own thrill, especially when you watch your page views start to climb and get to respond to the occasional comment. But having your words deemed good enough for someone else's webpage or blog, when you know full well how important our internet babies are to us all is a whole new thrill. One I hope I never get tired of!

To that end, I am trying to put together some ideas for some new articles for UBR and could use your help. Would you be willing to take a short survey? If so, please click this link. It is a very short survey, I promise!

You know, right at this moment I am feeling very blessed! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

I am soooo HAPPY!!

What a way to start a Monday! I am a published book reviewer! :)

Okay, let me explain. Back in November I got the opportunity to beta read a novel written by Brian Braden. Brian also writes for Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to reviewing and promoting indie authors. I subscribed to the newsletter and became Facebook friends with Brian and followed him on Twitter (the thought occurs to me that in real life all this friending and following is rather stalkerish!). Sometime around the first of the year he tweeted a general inquiry, looking for anyone interested in writing a book review. Of course, I answered.

And so here we are, my first ever, published on an actual website and not just on Amazon or Goodreads, book review! Please go check it out and leave a comment or share it on your social network of choice! I am hoping if they get enough hits they might ask me to write more. Hey, a girl can dream!!

Huh....a girl CAN dream. Even this girl, who gets choked up at the very mention of it. Who knew?!?!
(If you are confused, go read here, here, & here to learn about my fear of dreaming)

Oh, and before I go, Happy April Fools day! No, the above post is NOT an April Fools Joke. I promise. As a rule I am not a huge fan of April Fools day because it seems to be a good excuse for any number of cruel practical jokes. I love a good joke, the key word being GOOD. As in not cruel or harmful to others. This day is also the wedding anniversary of my mom and step dad. Seriously. They married on April Fools Day. It was my mom's third marriage and his ninth (not kidding) so I suppose they picked the right day. After all, at the time of his death they had been married for 26 years.

wedding picture. :)

You know what, I'm rambling! So, I'm going to wrap this up now. Please go check out my review, I would love some honest feedback!

Have a great day, and look out for those April Fools!