Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photo Facelifts

So, I'm trying my hand at photo restoration, and chose my Mom's two baby/toddler pics as my first projects. I"m not yet happy with the baby one, so I'll be working on it more when it's not 1am, but I'm pretty happy with the black and white. So I thought I would share these beautiful pics of my gorgeous Mommy. The toddler one is where she won a beauty contest, and this picture is on a calendar :)

Baby Before:

Baby After

Toddler Before

and Toddler After

I never realized how much Nate favors her until I paid attention to her face in the toddler one. He doesn't have her eyes, but there's just something about her face that screams Nana to me. And everyone is convinced he looks like Papa and Daddy. Maybe I just WANT to see it. Who knows.

Don't get upset that I have these Craig and Brent. Ya'll will have them too :) I promise!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Pictures

So, obviously, Fall is in the air. There's a chill out tonight, football is halfway through, Halloween is 2 weeks away. It's that time of year. Lots of changes. Things dying, going into hibernation, people staying in more. Life slows down for a brief moment this time of year. And then the Christmas season comes in and it becomes chaos for most. Isn't it funny how our lives go through such similar seasons? One day we're young, full of life, beauty. Then things start to wither, cool down, die off. We spend a season covered by cold, dead to ourselves, to God, and to those around us, but then, somehow, God's great Love breaks through again, like the sun breaking through the cold clouds in the springtime? And we begin to sprout new, young seedlings, that grow with the blessings of rain, and become beautiful flowers. Then things get hot, then we die, and the cycle starts over again. Life is a cycle. But that doesn't mean our souls have to be. Fall doesn't have to hit our soul. I know it has been "Fall" in my soul for 5 months now. But I'm not going to allow winter to come. I am ready to skip Winter and go straight to Spring again. Pray for me that I'll be able to do that?

Took some pics the last few days of Naynay. It wasn't easy. He's not quite as fun to photograph as he once was. He doesn't STAY anymore.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

S3 Who?

So, these morons at PJ's supposed great job are at it again. S3 Integrations coerced him away from CSS back in May/June with promises of a brighter future. To hire on within a month with full benefits and a personal work van, higher pay, more respect. Hah, one empty promise after another.

We are STILL not hired on. Yep, like 4 months into this gig, they keep making excuses to push the hiring back. I have lost count of how many times they have forgotten to pay us. Yep, they just don't send the check. Or this time their excuse is they didn't receive the time from PJ's supervisor. Well, he CC'd PJ the email when he sent it last week. They STILL owe us gas reimbursement from 2 months ago when PJ had to drive our rickety van to B'ham to work. This check they forgot to pay us only has 2 days worth of work out of 2 weeks.

Seriously, they are currently doing a job for the SSA office in B'ham, and supposedly have a contract for US Steele in B'ham. Tell me, how confident would you feel having S3 Integrations install your security systems if you knew they couldn't even get it together enough to pay their employees? Or heck, work their employees enough hours to allow them to take care of their families. I know I wouldn't. How can a company who FORGETS TO PAY THEIR EMPLOYEES MULTIPLE TIMES do a good job of installing and maintaining high level security systems? Think about it.

Don't hire S3 Integrations to do your work. You're better off doing it yourself. I"m afraid to think where the millions of dollars they get paid for these jobs goes, since they obviously don't use it to pay their employees.

And before you say it- yes, has has 50 gazillion apps and resumes out. Only one is calling, and we seem to keep playing phone tag with them. It takes them 3-4 days just to return his call, and we return theirs almost immediately.

The economy STINKS people.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"If You Came Back From Heaven"

Lately, I find myself listening to that song by Lorrie Morgan ALOT. But really, what if it COULD happen? Would I let it? I mean, if Momma COULD come back from Heaven, could I possibly allow it? Could I allow her to leave such wonder and beauty and perfection, just to come back to this horrible world and my selfishness?

She's been in my shoes. She's felt my pain. She has lost her Dad, then just 3 years later lost her Mom. She's finally with them again. She's where I want to be. I cry myself to sleep every night wishing I could just see her one more time. To tell her how much I love her, and how much I need her. But could I in good conscience bring her back to the misery of this world? And if she did come back, could I really not let God have her back? I mean, I don't want to let go of her. I miss her, I love her, and I NEED her, but when is she allowed to have HER reward? She deserves it. She put up with A LOT over the years from us and Dad. At some point, each one of us made her life Hell.

Would I bring her back, even if just for a day? Would that really help? Again, could I LET her go back if she did come back, for just one day? I don't think I could. I know that God took her in her sleep because He knew that we could never LET her go. We couldn't have watched her suffer, nor could we have said goodbye. Because we weren't ready for her to go. I know you never are. It was so easy to rely on God's strength during the funeral and week of. But now, it's so hard. It's so difficult to trust Him. Not impossible, just difficult. It's so hard not to be angry at Him. He took one of the most important people in my life away from me. But I know that while it feels like punishment to me (even though I know it's not), it's such a beautiful reward for her. I recently found out from someone very close to Momma that there were some tests that the doctor wanted to do before Momma died. I *THOUGHT* she told me everything. I guess there were some things she just didn't even tell me, because she knew I would push her, to keep her here longer. She didn't want to go through any more operations. I knew that. She was afraid. She didn't want to hurt. I think also she didn't want to leave us on an OR table. I think that would've been much harder for us. We'd always doubted ourselves whether or not we should've pushed her to do it. It's hard not to wonder "What if" when someone you love leaves so unexpectedly. We know God has a plan, but the what ifs are always there.

I dreamed something horrible last night. I dreamed that Daddy had colon cancer. It was very vivid. I woke up in tears it was so vivid, so real. I pray that it was just Satan using my fears now to get to me. I've always had this "feeling" that Momma would go just the way she did, adn that Daddy would die a slow and painful death. I can only pray that God shows him and us the same mercy and takes him in his sleep, MANY YEARS FROM NOW. It seems my grief and my fears are haunting even my dreams now. Hence, why I don't sleep much these days. I'm afraid to sleep. I spend 90% of awake time thinking about Momma, and probably at least that much of my sleep time dreaming about her. But they're never more than just "everyday life" type dreams. Nothing "special". I know so many people who've had lost loved ones appear to them in dreams, to comfort them. Now, I honestly don't know how that works. I don't know if God allows those things or not, or if it's just your subconscious finding a way to soothe itself. But what I wouldn't give to have that. I have so many things I'd love to say to Momma. I don't mean say them out loud and pretend she hears me. That does nothing for me. I need to SEE HER. Face to face. And tell her so many things I never got to say.

I know my posts these days are all pretty depressing, and it seems like I've lost all faith, but I haven't. I"m just struggling. I'm hurting. If you have not been in my shoes, I do not expect you to understand. I just appreciate you allowing me to vent, and get things out. If I keep these thoughts bottled up along with my pain, I'd literally explode.

I don't know if you can hear me or not Momma. But I love you. I miss you so much. Life is just not RIGHT without you. I miss my best friend. The boys miss their Nana. Jray says he wants your chicken fingers :) Could you send us some "Heavenly chicken"? I tried making it, but I just can't nor will I ever be able to cook it like you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Anyone up for Flea Markets?

You know, I used to never really WANT to go to Flea Markets. Mom would want me to go with her. I mean, that involves getting up early on a Saturday morning! Not if I don't have to!!!! So today I was sitting here, and suddenly had the urge to hop in the car with Momma and go to the flea market, thinking about the fact that PJ would be working this weekend. Isn't it funny, how the very things that you dread become something you so long to do when someone leaves your life?

I miss Momma so much. I miss shopping at the spur of the moment. I miss sitting on the swing with her. I miss walking around our yards looking at nothing and everything. I miss those annoying phonecalls that had me wanting to pull my hair out listening to her ramble on and on and on about the same thing, usually her newest "collection". Oh what I wouldn't give to have that phone ring again. Or to have her coming through the door while I sat on the toilet or in the bathtub or goodness forbid take a nap because I didn't answer the phone when she called, and she was afraid I was having a diabetic seizure. It is just so quiet around here during the day. It doesn't matter if every friend and family member calls me in one day, it's still too quiet. My memory just doesn't function right anymore. I find myself feeling so lost most of the time. Like something is missing, or I've forgotten something.

I recently got back the two windchimes I bought Momma for Mother's Day, just 3 days before she died. I hung them on the archway in my kitchen. Just so everything we walk by them we hit them. If that is the only thing Nate can ever relate in his heart to Nana, maybe it'll help to somehow keep her memory alive to him? Maybe by never letting that one memory of Nana die, he'll keep it forever? He loved his Nana, and he loved her windchimes. When we went to Nana's, he HAD to stop and hit the windchimes. Now no matter where we are, or what we're doing, when we hear a windchime, I can't help but stop and listen, and say "I hear you Momma". My brothers put a couple up at her grave. That's something very special to us, that we'll always have.

Please, I don't care of your Mom gets on your last ever-lovin nerve. Don't take her for granted. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all quickly approaching, I find myself wanting to hide under a rock. She loved them all. Who will we Trick or Treat this year? It always started with Nana. She always went WAY overboard with chocolate goodie bags for the kids. Thanksgiving was MOMMAgiving. She assigned dishes, and made way more in her kitchen than all of us kids combined. WAY too much food. Seriously. I mean, every year there would be enough food to feed 50+ people, and it was just us three kids and spouses, the 6 grandkids (usually nto even all of them were there since a couple of us are divorced and remarried), her, and dad. I can't handle doing a family thing for Thanksgiving this year. I mean, it just is NOT Thanksgiving without Momma. I refuse to celebrate it without her. That might and probably will change next year, but this year I just want no part of it. We just won't even get into Christmas. Momma would have already had her closet and bedroom overloaded with gifts for the kids. She had to spend xx amount of $$ on EACH kid, but each kid had to have the EXACT same number of gifts. She HAD to be fair. She complained EVERY year she wouldn't make all that candy! "We don't need it anyway!" she would say. But every year, she spent HOURS in the kitchen making all sorts of homemade treats. She lived for Christmas and her kids and her grandkids. That was Momma. Every year we told her to not buy so much, she couldn't afford it. But of course she didn't listen. She LOVED spoiling us all, especially the grandkids. I loved going shopping with her at Christmas, helping her pick out everyone's gifts. We had so many special times together and 99% of them were shopping LOL. Momma was a shopaholic. I mean, she's the shopping that when buying a figurine, would pick up EVERY single figurine of that design and compare them, to get the absolute BEST one. It drove me NUTS. I mean, I just grab one, if it isn't broken, it's good. But nope, she took her time making certain she always got the very best. Well, now she has the very best. And she deserves it.

Alot has happened in our little family since May 14. I had surgery, Dad took the pastor position of a local church, then accepted the pastor position full time of a church 3.5 hours away, and moved, then remarried, my brother took over the pastor position of the first church and has done wonders with it from what I'm hearing, and my oldest brother and his wife have moved next door into what I still consider "Momma's house". And that's just the short version. Change is inevitable. But, change isn't always easy to swallow. They say time heals all, and there's no doubt that's true. But there are days when it feels time injures more deeply. We've had fights, makeups, and everything in between here lately. That's what families do, right? They love each other regardless? Even when one is hurting another, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they still love each other. I think I can speak for us all on that. I know I love all of my family. I might not like them all the time, but I love them all the time. That's what Momma taught us. And while I know that she would be chewing us out if she'd seen some of the behavior since her death, I think she's in Heaven now smiling proudly because through it all, we've endured, and still love one another, and are still there for one another, making every effort possible to take up the slack left by her leaving. She might have been a little woman, but she has some HUGE shoes to fill.

Anyone got some bulky socks? Maybe some tissue paper to stuff the toes?

My Crazy Life

My photo
I am a Christian wife and homeschooling mom of two precious boys. I enjoy photography and spending time with my family, along with any other hobby I can manage to dig my nails into. I'm married to PJ, God's precious gift to me ;) I'm honest, passionate, and find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with my Creator each and every day that passes. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 10. I chose not to care about my health then, and am paying the price now with multiple complications including kidney damage and neuropathy. I currently reside in Florida, where God led my family in February of 2011, but my heart is, and will forever be, in Alabama.