Halloween Hesitations…

To dress up or not to dress up? That is the question…

Happy Hoosier Halloween

Halloween has always been one of, if not my favorite holiday of the year. A time to get dressed up and be different even if it’s only for a few hours and get candy. What could ever be wrong with that? I’d heard some people tell me that they didn’t celebrate Halloween and I thought it oddly fanatical and strange. I mean we didn’t actually turn into real witches, or ghouls or monsters, or whatever we were dressed as on Halloween … we just pretended to be whatever it was for a few hours. I never liked the idea of having my children dress up as devils, so we had never taken it that far… but then this year something changed…

This year in fact, has been a year of tremendous change for me. It’s the year that I found God really. Well, I shouldn’t say found Him, as if He had been lost for all of my life and I just completed a maze and received a God prize. No, it’s almost like for the first time in my life, I’ve taken my blindfold off and I can see Him so clearly now. Even when I look back on my life, I can see Him and how He’s always been here for me. Where before I felt so lost and alone and confused and aimless, now I see He’s been here all along, guiding my steps, holding my hand, picking me up when I fell, even dropping blessings on me that I didn’t even deserve.

And now that film has been lifted from my eyes, everything looks different, everything sounds different even. Music that I used to listen to, doesn’t sound the same. Shows that I used to watch on tv, disturb me. And now Halloween just makes me think… what really are we celebrating?? What is the purpose of celebrating the dark things of this world? The things that cause destruction and turmoil in the lives of so many?? Why should I and my family essentially glorify them?? I’m here to glorify God now.

So I decided this year would be different. We will not stop celebrating Halloween, my kids could never understand that. We will still give out candy, and go trick-or-treating. We will dress up. But this year will be a “positive” Halloween. We will not dress up as any scary ghouls or monsters or goblins. I wanted us to only dress as positive things for Halloween. And decorations, just never really happened this year. I have decorations in the basement but I just didn’t pull them out.

But all in all, I feel much better about embracing the holiday in the manner that we are. Next year, when I have even more time to really think about this topic, I’m going to come up with different ways for us to really celebrate Halloween while continuing to stay true to our beliefs. This year, it’s just the beginning of bigger and brighter Halloween celebrations to come…
 

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Everything but the kitchen sink

So today the kitchen sink and water were finally reconnected in my kitchen!  After almost TWO weeks of having no water in the kitchen because of the installation of granite and a new sink (and problems that cropped up with it)… but now it’s up and working again. 

And I’ve never been happier to wash dishes in my sink!  It’s crazy because washing dishes was always up there on my top 5 most disliked chores — right behind cleaning the bathroom.  But today is a new day!  It’s this amazing feeling to wash dishes in my new huge sink.  I think I might never use my dishwasher again. 🙂

So next week the backsplash goes up, followed by the new floors and then shortly there after the new kitchen table and chairs should arrive.   I’ll follow up with pictures later for all of my curious readers.  Maybe I’ll include one of myself with my apron on washing dishes too just for fun! 😉

The Memory HOARDER…

So many of you know me, may already know my favorite channel – HGTV.  I love to watch as people’s homes start out in one state and in the span of 30 minutes becomes something completely different – warm, inviting, appealing.  And it’s no secret to all of you that I try and do a lot of those things on my own here at home.  But recently I’ve found that there’s another channel, or should I say 1 show in particular that’s been drawing me away from HGTV.  This isn’t American Idol so I’ll cut right to the chase, no cutting to commercial now.  It’s A&E ‘s HOARDERS. 

Hoarders

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Yes, HOARDERS.  Yuck.  Even the sound of the name is repulsive.  But there’s something about the show that compels me and draws me in.  Sometimes the people looked really mentally off.  But sometimes they are remarkably lucent and yet still have trouble letting go of things.  Although the things are so piled high in their homes that they have to create little footpaths to get through.  Relatives will fall and break arms or legs and yet the clutter, the mountains of things remain. 

pathway in a hoarder's home

Their inability to let the things go really confuses me.  I mean if it came down to one of my children or a photo album from my childhood, that photo album would be history.  These people make connections to things.  And those things instantly will transport them in their mind to that time/place in their memories when they experienced something wonderful.  An empty old wooden basket reminded one woman of her father.  And although it was not from her childhood.  She didn’t want to part with it.

As much as I might not want to admit it, as much as we all might not want to admit it.  We all have a little HOARDER somewhere in us.  I distinctly remember the first time it dawned on me that there was a little piece of a hoarder in me.  Another   I was watching an episode and the counselor was talking to one homeown about reducing her collection of jelly jars.  Which caused a huge issue for her.  She didn’t want to part with any of them.  And in my mind as I watched her dilemma, instantly a picture of my own collection of jelly jars that sat on top of the fridge flashed in my mind.  Needless to say, I placed all the jars in the recycle bin that day. 

Me rocking Christopher in the rocking chair when he was a baby

But we all have things in our lives that at times can transport us to memories.  The nursery rocking chair that has temporarily become my computer desk chair for one.  I sat in it yesterday and just rocked for a moment and closed my eyes.  And I was transported back to nights awake alone with my children.  Breastfeeding, changing pampers, baby lotion, soft skin, falling asleep sitting up with the baby asleep in my arms.  And for that moment, I thought, I’m never going to get rid of this ratty old rocker. 

embracing what's to come...

But then I remembered, my memories will always be  there.  A rocker won’t solidify them anymore.  And if I crowd my mind with memories of the past, who could really embrace the wonderful present and the even more wonderful future?

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Happy

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God
Yes, God makes me happy. But not that temporary kind of happy that can change with the weather. It’s a joy in my heart that I feel inside of me at all times. So even when I’m doing laundry, sweeping the floor, picking up groceries, anything, I’m just happy and I just feel so blessed to be alive. It’s this special feeling that you carry around with you at all times once you really have felt His love.

Laughing
Because of what it is… laughing… It’s this burst of happy release, finding the comedy in small situations… They say “laughter is the best medicine” and yes, I think if you were to try to live your life without laughter, you’d probably see how critical a component to happiness it really is.

My hubby
Yes, my hubby, makes me happy. He knows me better than anyone else in this world. He can look at me and instinctlively know when something is bothering me or I’m thinking something and yes, even when I’m trying to pass off a little white lie. He is so funny and has such a positive outlook on life that he can make me laugh and smile even in my toughest moments.

Snow Days
It’s a snow day and I don’t have to take the kids to school or go to work… no more explaining left to do there… Snowmans, snow angels, mittens, hot chocolate…

New shoes
Yes, I’m a woman and I love new shoes just like every other woman. But I’m particularly picky when it comes to shoes. So if I can find a beautiful comfortable affordable pair of shoes, that doesn’t happen often. So when it does, I revel in it!!

Sales & saving money
Yes, yes, yes!! I have 3 kids, a family of five over here. And so if I can save money anyhow, anyway, then I am there and I am hip-hip horaying all the way to the midnight or 3am sale. lol. Black Friday, yes I’m there.

Thrift Store Shopping
So, an off-shoot of my thrifty spending is thrift store shopping. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking for bargains. I love to find things that are just a little worn and clean, polish or paint them up and make them new again. Yes, I’m a thrift store diva. 🙂

Chicken noodle soup on rainy days
Chicken noodle soup on rainy days (homemade of course). It just doesn’t get much better than that. It’s like 2 healthy servings of heaven pie

My kids
Whew! Can’t believe my kids are so far down on the list! That was definitely an oversight. My kids are wow, they are amazing. From my oldest Eric, who can always tune into how I’m feeling and is so in sync with my emotions. To my middle son Chris who always has a quick witty comment lying in wait. To my beautiful daughter Carina, my little sweet cuddle bug. I have just been so blessed by my children and they make me so happy every single day. Sometimes they get me upset of course but mostly, it’s just happy.

Clean organization
Having everything cleanly organized just give me this amazing sense of happiness. There’s this deep personal satisfaction that comes from that. Speaking of which, i have a little cleaning to do now

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