Thinking Positive.

A new journey to a more positive, pleasant me.

Things I’m going to start working on:

  • Appreciation
  • Dedication
  • Motivation
  • Decision Making

Because of recent events in my life I’ve really struggled with seeing the big picture. I’ve been stuck behind the what ifs, why nots, why mes.

I don’t like it. I’ve been scouring the internet and surveying friends and it always comes back to the same answer.

And the quickest way to change it is – yes, you guessed – with me.

So. Starting today.. tonight.

I’m going to appreciate what I have. Piles of laundry on the floor be damned, I’m going to be grateful that I have clothes. Stressful job? At least I have one.

Some days I want to move so badly I can taste the dirty Lubbock air. We’ve worked hard to get the house ready but not as quickly as I would have liked. Time to regroup and refocus. We need a list and list we shall have.

Which brings me to motivation. Not much more motivating than getting out of here needed!

And decisions need to be made. Important decisions. Will one of us move first? Can I survive staying at the in-laws temporarily? Will I transfer or take the money and run?

Mind is swirling. I have to take action. All of this sitting back and being careful is driving me crazy.

Time to think positive, be grateful, pray for clarity and see where it leads us.

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It’s been one month today since Penny died. I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to write about her but every time I’ve sat down I just can’t find the words. I’ve been sickish this weekend. I have not eaten since Friday and have no desire to try. The past couple of weeks I tried to convince myself it was nerves and that might have been what started it but now something is definitely not good. Katelyn made a pretty picture of Penny in Heaven this morning so that may have to suffice as my tribute today because emotionally I am just not ready to really process my feelings about her anymore.

So instead I’ve been job searching. I always have the option of transferring when we move but as I’ve said before – I’m not sure that’s the route I want to take.

The job market in Lubbock is interesting. There are a lot of jobs I have no desire in learning more about. Texas Tech is hiring for over 500 positions – some of which I’m definitely qualified for but just don’t seem interested in.

You would think the ability to multi-task like a crazy person, manage the lives of 50 kids (or more!) write legal documents, testify like a pro, AND create beautiful community collaborations would make you qualified for something… right?


I really, really need my Masters. But unfortunately between being Mom and the job I have it’s impossible to commit and work through. Occasionally the rare job with the State pops up and they will pay for your Masters and give you time off to actually get it but I haven’t seen one of those in Lubbock yet.

I feel like we’re just drowning here and not going anywhere despite being focused and trying to go. I would love to be there and settled in time for the holidays but with October less than 12 hours away I just don’t see it happening.

When we moved here, we just did it. And everything fell into place and worked out beautifully.

Maybe that’s the approach we need to take with moving back. If we focus and let go of the planning and worry – it might just work out.

Letting go of fear of the unknown is tough.

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After the storm – literally.

We had a nice thunderstorm pass through earlier.

I’ve always loved the rain. My 4 year old personal meteorologist predicts it and prays for it a lot. We spend most of our time during storms outside basking in it – thunder or not. Tonight we danced on the deck and thanked God for the rain. Being in the middle of a horrendous drought in West Texas – it’s always a welcome sight.

As much as I love the middle of a storm – I love the quiet, clean feeling post storm.

I’m sitting here with this most peaceful, settled feeling that I’ve had in weeks. And I’m trying to enjoy every second.

A few months ago I went through something very challenging at work. I cried, I fought, I prayed. And nothing short of divine intervention happened.

And today it all ended in the most perfect way possible. A very sick little guy got a second chance at life and a family was complete. Even playing a small role in it – my heart is beaming with pride. There’s an undeniable period of excitement in me after an adoption. If only I could have them every day.

Being able to take part in these adoptions with kids that thought they would never be able to love or be loved again is truly a blessing. And as exhausting and stressful as it gets at times – it is so very rewarding. Some day I will be able to move on from this and know that I did really make a difference – even if it was just for one of them. One is enough for me. And my sweet sick baby might be the one.

After driving nearly 800 miles since starting out at 6 am yesterday I am exhausted. Emotionally, physically. My family needs me, I need me.

There’s only so much of me that I can give.

So some day this must end. For my sanity – for theirs.

But for tonight I will sit here quietly and count my blessings. I am blessed. We are blessed.

Life is good.

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Emotionally worn out. It’s the “busy” time of year at work which means 50 times worse than normal – which is already busy. What I do is important and I’m proud of that but some days it just seems like… too much.

I’ve really tried to get my feelings wrapped up the past few days. I still miss Penny like crazy and it still feels weird without her. Katelyn is going through a particularly trying phase that leaves me exhausted. We got a lot of work done around the house this weekend so at least there is some hope of getting out of here soon.

I know moving won’t fix all of our problems but I think we are in desperate need of a “fresh start.”

Work related more than anything. I have no desire to re-commit myself to the state for 5 more years. February will be my 5th year and I’ve been tenured since I pretty much started.

It takes away family time. There are frequent early mornings and late nights. Tomorrow I’m planning on being on the road at 6 am just to avoid getting home late. The bottom line is that sometimes it’s just too much.


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We’re having a lazy day. Katelyn is cuddled up on the couch and Lila is watching TV with her (literally.)

Miles is outside sunning his tummy. Roxy is MIA but that’s nothing new.

We have a lot of stuff to do but that stuff can wait.

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My journey with endometriosis probably started long before I knew. I struggled with a lot of issues and finally had surgery in June of 2004 that warranted a diagnosis of endometriosis and a horrendous decision to try Lupron therapy. Menopause at 19 was not fun! Nor was hearing I may never be able to have children without intervention.

Another surgery in 2006 actually brought relief for a time and now with an IUD after the birth of my daughter in 2008 my symptoms are manageable for the most part.

I cannot believe medical professionals are wasting time on studies like this one instead of looking for a cure, or less invasive forms of treatment. My battle with endometriosis really defined my early years of college and not in a good way. I was sick and in pain a lot. At times I truly felt crazy after several doctors didn’t take me seriously. I finally found a fertility specialist who did.

I still have some issues – last year a large endometrioma cyst ruptured and landed me in the hospital. Thankfully nothing is as severe as it used to be.

I used to stay up to date on treatments and research. Now as a mom with other responsibilities I haven’t really been.

Maybe I should just be thankful that it’s not debilitating like it used to be.

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My favorite season is among us. I love fall.

Here’s why:

Sweater weather. Crisp nights. Fireplaces. Hot chocolate. Crunchy leaves. Smores. Snuggly blankets. Halloween. Pumpkin patches. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin spice. Pumpkin everything. Lazy nights watching fall TV. Getting back that hour of sleep that was so rudely taken away in the spring. Casseroles. Baking (I pretty much only bake in the fall!) Turkey. Guilt free naps. College football. Halloween! Thanksgiving! Family. Leggings. Scarf wearing. The anticipation build up that Christmas is getting nearer. National Adoption Day. Birthday. My natural hair color becomes acceptable.

Oh happy magical fall.

I am so thankful you’re almost here.

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Thursday used to be my favorite day of the week. It’s my “protected” day which means I can work from home to get everything caught up. It used to be productive.

Now no matter how much better I’ve been doing, Thursday hits me like ice cold waves in the face. I go through every second of August 30th in my mind over and over again until 11:02 am when Penny was gone. I’ve been nauseated after I eat for weeks now to which Sam joking says “baby!” but I think it’s stress. And grief.

It really is unpleasant. In the book Dog Heaven it talks about God having a sense of humor and an endless supply of dog biscuits in various fun shapes like squirrels and ham sandwiches. Last night Katelyn said a prayer (when she thought I couldn’t hear her) telling God that he should maybe try a peanut butter one instead because Penny really, really liked peanut butter.

And as I’m typing this, Lila came and stole a piece of cantaloupe. Maybe years from now when Lila goes to Cat Heaven we can pray that God gives her some of that. She’s done a lot better with the not stealing random weird food but the starving stray still shows up occasionally. I’m pretty convinced she thinks she is a dog. If someone knocks on the door or she hears the mail woman she flies through the house like she’s got something to say to them. God knew what he was doing when Lila showed up – that much I know for sure.

I’ve been more emotional today than normal because a case I’ve worked incredibly hard on will be ending next week. And it’s a really happy ending but an ending none the less.

Life goes on. Even when I feel like it should be at a stand still.


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I woke up feeling hopeful this morning which was a really nice change from the past few weeks. Though I should clarify I initially woke up thinking of all of the crap I will have to do tomorrow when I get back to work. But that subsided and peace set in.

These 5 days off have been nothing short of a miracle. Being an emotional mess while trying to do an emotionally challenging job is not a good mix.

I typically don’t see myself as the stay at home mom type – probably because I never did it. But we baked banana nut bread this morning and it all felt very domestic.

Katelyn did tell me she missed her friends today so I’m sure she’ll be ready to head back to school tomorrow. I am 50/50 on returning to work.

My phone has rang non-stop the past few days (as it does every day) and I had 88 e-mails in my inbox this morning. I think my next job will be as a Wal-Mart greeter. I can leave work at work. Or you know maybe crunching numbers so I don’t have to feel like lives are at stake every day.

Because they are – and that’s reality.

A friend and I went to see a tarot card reader when we were 17. A few of the things I remember: I have met my soul-mate (not true), I’m a nurturing person (mostly true) and that I would work with children (well at least that one was right.)

I applied for a job at Texas Tech for a new pilot program focusing on first generation and low-income incoming freshmen. It’s designed to catch these kids before college and show them that higher education is possible. I’m already dealing with several of these kiddos right now and I felt like I could really contribute to the cause when I read through the posting.

Sam and I went to a game this weekend. Our first Tech game since Katelyn was 6 weeks old and I literally fell asleep on his shoulder. It made me sad that I rushed through college. I was in and out in 4 years. Some days I wish I would have enjoyed it more. The last two years I was in school, I worked on game days because those were decent days to make money. I should have been tailgating and yelling my head off at the games. Being back on campus and seeing the spirit and infectious nature of college made me realize it probably wasn’t as bad as it felt then.

Regrets are fun!

I used to say I had no regrets. And really I don’t. Life has ended up pretty good for me even with all of the stupid decisions and mistakes along the way. I’ve been blessed even when I probably didn’t deserve it.

The next few months will be hectic at work preparing for the one big event we have each year. And after that I am hopeful we will be able to move on.

Hope is good and sometimes that’s all you need.



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I stood by your bed last night, 
I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, 
You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly 
as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, 
I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, 
I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, 
your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, 
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, 
I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, 
You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, 
that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, 
as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, 
I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, 
and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, 
that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, 
to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, 
“I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, 
then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, 
I was very close to you.

The day is over… 
I smile and watch you yawning
and say “good-night, God bless, 
I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you 
to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you 
and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, 
there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out…
then come home to be with me.

~Author Unknown 



The tears are coming freely today. I ordered a book a few nights ago called Dog Heaven. It was on the front porch this morning. It’s a children’s book but had a lot of good reviews. It was very sweet and helped me paint a nice picture of Penny peacefully there. I’ve seen this poem before and right now it’s offering even more comfort than the Rainbow Bridge. I want so badly to feel her with me. To hear her toes clicking on the hardwood floor. Or her tags jingle as she runs. Today is a “too soon” day. I have days when I feel at peace with our decision to put her to sleep. Other days, like today, I feel like I should have tried harder. I should have fought harder for Penny. But then I remember her eyes looking up at me after the seizure. She looked so sad, so lost. I had prayed for a sign to know it was “time” and that morning, on the floor in the dark her eyes told me she was tired. When I think about her eyes, sometimes I feel like I waited “too long.”

It’s always amazed me that after someone close to me dies, life goes on. Even when you feel like your world has totally stopped – you still wake up, go to work, take care of children, eat, sleep – though poorly, function. All with a heart in pieces. I am grieving for her more than I have for people that I’ve lost. Maybe because she was a constant and here. You learn to love people in your life from far away. Grandparents you don’t see every day. Miles between you but the love is still there. It was different with Penny. There weren’t many times in our 8 years that we were apart for long. Maybe that’s why the emptiness is so profound.

When I take Miles for a walk, my other hand instinctively still grips a leash that is not there. I’ve stopped expecting to see Penny when I get home. But the emptiness is still here.

Part of me feels like her death was a signal that it’s time for serious changes. Home is not home anymore. We’ve wanted to move for awhile but now I have this primal urge to empty out this house and be done with it. Change has an awful lot going for it – even when it seems scary at times. A new house won’t make me miss her any less but I think mentally I will be in a better place at that point.

Before she got sick – I couldn’t imagine life without her. And now that life without her is a reality – I hate it. I hate life without Penny.

I miss my girl.


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