Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday Five


Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?

Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?

Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.)

Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.


Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....
1) dessert/cookie/family food
Ribbon candy. It seems like a good festive idea until you almost knock everything off the table because it has stuck to the antique dish and when you finally get it pulled off EVERYTHING comes with it and then you break off too big a piece and you end up drooling on your grandmother's couch... good thing it's covered with plastic.

2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)
Eggnog. Blech.

3) tradition (church, family, other)
Well, for lack of another thought - poinsettias. They are pretty and all, I'm just over them.

4) decoration
Mistletoe. I mean really?

5) gift (received or given)
Stocking stuffers from a hotel bathroom. Just sayin'.

BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.
Felice Navidad. The contest is over.

I know, I know.... pretty grumpy for November but why not get it out of our systems now so we are free to enjoy the rest of the festivities.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Extrovert

Hello. My name is will smama and I am an extrovert. (Hi will smama)

Certainly I have come down the scale as I have gotten older, but still I find myself filled with all of those ENFJ traits. One way I really struggle at the church where I am currently called is getting work done there in the afternoons when there is no one around. There is no buzz in the hallway, no one to bounce a thought to (I often speak out loud with the understanding that my admin or whoever else I am around at the time does not need to respond to me in any way). In a lot of ways while I am working on sermons the Preacher Party and gmail chat have become my extrovert outlet. Yet even with teh internets, I lose energy faster than I do when physically with others.

I explained to Listing Straight that I needed to use some continuing education time or else I was going to lose it with the stipulations that I wanted people around me, but also needed to get some work done, I needed the resources I am comfortable with, but could not stay at home, but also could not be too far away.

We talked a bit about one option and then she graciously offered this one, which is that I get to hang out with her and her family, she is working and so I work then too and when we are done they feed me and we watch good tv and movies and occasionally we 'IM' each other even when we are in the same room because we are dorks and that is what dorks think is funny.

It is good.
Really, really good.
Perfect.

So far I have knocked out January thru March worship and sermon plans which this year includes the next BIG church festival so 'yeah' for me.

In other news The Boy seems to be doing quite well for which I am so grateful. He spent a fun day with my parents yesterday and today and tomorrow gets to be with TDH. Friday back with my parents and then on Saturday we reunite and as I continue in my quest for the "Mother of the Year" award we are going to see Thomas. And we don't just see him, we ride on him AND another train.

We are meeting friends of mine from home for this event but I am fully aware that I may be in full Mommy mode for a little boy who wants my full attention after being gone from him for so long.

And believe me, I am ok with that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Fine... Really

Tonight I drop off The Boy with his grandparents and I will not see him again until Saturday morning.
Oh. My. Gawd.
Just reading that makes my breath catch.

I am heading to a place of pampering and quiet (my friend's house down south) to work on worship and sermon planning at least through Easter. This is something I usually do in August but somehow that got lost in the serious shuffle.

The Boy will be splitting his time between TDH and school and grandparents - he'll be fine. I know that. Really. And I will be fine too. I mean, going to the bathroom without a pint sized chaperone describing what I am doing is a luxury I am ready to embrace.

Still....

I'm fine... Really.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Firsts


Nothing says 'single parent' more than lugging up the Christmas decorations from the basement by yourself.


Before our world was turned upside down my plan was to pull out every Christmas decoration and as they were going away post-Christmas make a 'youth garage sale' pile. However, our youth have quit the garage sale business and this year seems like a good time to go by the KISS approach: Keep It Simple Stupid.


There will be no post Church Open House on the last Sunday before Christmas and no other parties scheduled (I resisted temptation on that one) so there is really no reason to deck every hall.


I was wondering how much The Boy would even care other than yelling, "Careful Mommy!" down into the basement as I was pushing and pulling the tree box up the steps (just like in the days of yore). But when I opened the box his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, "Oh Mommy... it's BEAUTIFUL!"


I wonder what he'll say when I take it OUT of the bubble wrap!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

For four years now this day has been a hard one - 4 years ago tomorrow was the hardest day of my life. The only way to get through it is just to keep myself busy, which I did.

Newsletter is done.
Bulletin is done.
Sermon is done and preached.
I checked in with a couple of returned college students.
And because the weather was so nice I cleaned out the garden (TDH's garden) and two of our flower beds.

In even MORE fun news I received a text message from my b-i-l telling me to bring play clothes and a football tomorrow to Thanksgiving.

Friends, life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Celebration of Discipline: 2007 Edition

I have been trying to problem solve some of our more stressful times together as mother and toddler son. The mornings of the work week certainly are a highly sensitive area and so I have begun two practices:


1) I have set my alarm for 30 minutes before The Boy on average gets up. I have an iPod alarm clock so it plays decent music, no blaring tone, and it means that even though it is earlier I am waking up on my own terms and not to, "Mommy, downstairs please. Juice please. Mommy!" So far this has made a difference. Has it made a difference to Nighttime Me as far as getting to bed earlier? In a word? No. Dadgum Jon Stewart and his Daily Show.


2) No computer in the morning. This is one I had committed to before but you know how it goes. You think, "Well, I'll just check email real quick" and then that turns into "Well, I'll just respond real quick" and for me that sadly can become "oooh, I can blog that real quick" - it's a vicious circle.


The mornings clearly g0 better without it on. The Boy gets far more of my attention and I am able to accomplish some of the things I am just too fried at night to do. It is a no brainer. What startled me this morning was how many times I thought, "Oh, I should go turn on the computer." I had NO idea what a habit it had become. I have purposefully left it at work in the evenings before and nary had a second thought about it. But in the morning it had definitely become part of the routine. I'm glad I caught that.


Alright, back to the Thanksgiving Eve sermon which right now is certainly long enough to preach but says just about nothing.


Peace.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rejoice in the Lord Always...

This was the theme of my sermon yesterday morning and in light of recent grumpiness I thought I should take my own advice. Right now I am rejoicing in:

- a new spinning class I am hoping to make it to by 9.

- the seminary intern we have who is preaching this Sunday - YEAH!

- America's Most Smartest Model - simply the best shit tv... EVER!

- a long snuggle with The Boy this morning which seems to have made us both feel better.

- a good 'come-down-off-the-ledge' conversation I had with a friend of mine while our kids played

Now onto another day of rowing.

Peace.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Awkward!!!

So I have found that in order to keep sane through all of this I have to keep my sense of humor. When I talk to TDH I try to keep things on a friendly level and I try very hard not to think too much about how deep - and evil - the wounds are. Still, I do get my digs in like the shirt The Boy wore and when TDH mentioned that today was TOW2's birthday I asked him if he had gotten her pacifiers or sippy cups.

While working on my sermon, TDH's name popped up as online. I know his wireless internet has been working off and on and I was going to congratulate him on it being on via chat when I remembered that he was in neighboring state celebrating TOW2's birthday. The following chat ensued:

me: TOW2 has wireless? - couldn't resist ;)
TDH: Yes...wireless...ummmmm - now what...
me: Now what? You don't have to chat with me, if that is what you mean. I can give you an update on The Boy if you would like.
me: Or do you not want your girlfriend to know you are chatting with your wife?

He logged off soon after that.

Idiot. I am now in a phase where I am frustrated to be living a stereotype. TDH is in his 40's. TOW2 is in her 20's... I mean could we have not been just a little mroe original than that?

Thankful

I am thankful this is the last wedding I am doing for awhile.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Think About These Things Edition

Special props to Songbird for offering this week's guiltless diversion where I can both get my mind off my sermon and work on it at the same time.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)

Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These could be people, organizations, acts, ideas, works of art, pieces of music--whatever comes to mind for you.

Worthy of Praise: My parents. My current personal crisis would be unfathomably worse if I did not have them here to help with my psyche and with taking care of their grandson.

Pleasing: Naps. 'Nuff said.

Honorable: Those who are in relationships that they wanted to quit at one time or another but instead they stayed, worked through it and they and the relationship are the better for it.

True: The bond I have with my son. Truly amazing considering being a 'Mommy' does not come naturally to me and truth be told, I don't often like other people's children.

Commendable: My friends - physical and cyber - who continue to do their best to help me keep my head above water.

Peace, friends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Random 3am Thought

If Halle Berry and Christie Brinkley were left by their spouses... what chance really did I have?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Done

Things that Make Me Happy: The Domestic Goddess was here today.

Thus concludes the things that make me happy today report. The good news on the horizon is that Thanksgiving is early this year and in the recent past that has been when the emotional pall that I am under from Halloween until then is over.

I pray that even with the extra stress this year, that timetable remains the same... for everyone's sake.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One Day at a Time: The Next Day

Well I talked to TDH last night and asked him, "Are we really going through with this?"
His response? "With what?"
"This! Separation, divorce."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, are you still seeing TOW2?"
"............ yes."

Hello! If you are still pursuing a relationship with someone else then the answer to the divorce question is clearly, "Yes!" Grrrrrrrr. At least it worked to get me angry with him again. This is NOT a guy I want to be married to. I lose sight of that easily because even though he does all of these things he makes no move towards divorce. I had to hire the lawyer, I am the one who actually filed - and so it starts creeping in my head that I am rushing things rather than working on them. Now I have this post to go back to whenever I need reminding that I am not the problem here.

And isn't SHE getting a gem? The guy won't even make any moves himself to get out of his current relationship so he can be with her.
Good luck honey. I wish I could be there when it finally clicks in your young head that this is NOT the Prince Charming you had always painted him out to be.

I was planning on waiting until the divorce was final to change his nickname here (TDH=Tall, Dark and Husband) but it might help me to do it sooner. I have a lot of ideas and I can only imagine some of your suggestions but to keep it simple I could just go with TDX-ish (the 'ish' only until the divorce).

In the midst of ALL of this chaos and turmoil The Boy has had a major break through! Last night he would NOT let me put a diaper on him to go to bed and when I finally gave up he walked over to the potty and peed in the potty!!! Yeah!!!!!

So today, we are staying close to home... and familiar potties. Truthfully he has been moving towards ready, I have been the problem. When I saw him reading the book, How to Get Your Mommy Ready for Potty Training I knew it was time.

Thus concludes my cold and rainy Monday morning report.

Respectfully Submitted,
Will Smamma

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Update

Just chilling out after my first FULL Sunday back in the pulpit. The sermon went fairly well although it took every ounce and every minute of the week up until church time to get it written. That always happens on my first sermon back.

Now The Boy and I are chilling out at home. I LOVE it when he points at me and says, "Sit on the couch." You certainly don't have to tell me twice.

As for the shirt, to TDH's credit, he thought it was pretty funny. In some ways that makes things worse. I talk to him and he seems like the same guy I have know for 12 years. He acts and talks like a man I would be interested in. I sometimes look at him and wonder how the heck things fell apart so fast and if this is really the way things have to be.

I mean divorce? Really? A year ago today we were fine. We were helping each other get through what since 2003 has always been a tough month for us and we were planning a HUGE Thanksgiving, discussing what a jerk his BROTHER is.

How did we get here?

There are no easy answers, I know. And because I believe in a sovereign God, I have actually let go a little bit of trying to find the answers. I am working very hard on letting go of the 'what ifs' and the 'if onlys'.
But cannot help but think that others have been through far worse than we have and made it through to the other side. Why did he quit on us? And should I be trying harder to keep my family together, rather than allowing the divorce to happen?

If TDH showed up at the door and said he wanted to take me up on my rhetoric about being willing to work on the marriage, would I REALLY be willing to do the work that salvaging our relationship - and our family - would take?

It just all seems so sad and disappointing.... and unnecessary.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hee, Hee, Hee, cont...

Today TDH was forced to put our son in a shirt that reads "My Mommy is out of your league."

Here was the end of an email from him describing their morning:
We're planning on seeing you around 3:20 or so. He's wearing his new shirt and sends his love.

I just canNOT stop chuckling.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Appointment Television

Woe be to the person who gets in between me and Oprah tommorrow - it's an Osmond Reunion!

Wish I Could Be There

Tomorrow when TDH opens The Boy's bag to get his clothes he will find the ONLY shirt in there is one that says, "My Mommy is out of your league."

hee, hee, hee

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Changing the Subject

Does it bother anyone else that Carrie Underwood followed up Jesus Take the Wheel with Before He Cheats? I mean are you a choir girl or trailer trash - you MUST decide.

A Talent Wasted

I truly believe that my m-i-l's gift for manipulation - if used for good instead of evil - COULD have been used to solve the crisis in the Middle East. That is how much practice and energy she has put into it over the years.

But FIRST a couple of things I want to pull out from the comments in the previous post:
"If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." - Identity Mixed, I LOVE it!

And the shoulder punch thingy *[ was invented by none other than Listing Straight because we are both abysmal at the whole hugging thing.


Now, back to this. While married I have been very careful not to go on rants on the blog about my in-laws - too stereotypical. But as we all know, too often there is truth behind stereotypes. In this case, I think my m-i-l may have actually raised her manipulation to a level where she can actually make herself sick.

Her son and I are going through a shocking separation and divorce. Although I try very hard to work with TDH and he with me when it comes to The Boy there are certain places I adamantly and angrily draw the line. For instance, his parents have requested that he bring The Boy down to southern, 'f'allic state for Christmas. HELL NO!

I realize that eventually I am going to have to let that trip happen, BUT IT AIN'T HAPPENING NOW!!! And it SURE AS HELL ain't happening on the first Christmas after our separation that I had NOTHING TO DO WITH. (Please excuse my 'yelling'. I am yelling with you, not at you.)

This has not been an argument between TDH and I, he gets that and is not even remotely pushing to bring The Boy down to see his family for Christmas. This is why his mother had to take such extreme measures. She is now in the hospital, needing a procedure they cannot do because of an infection and yet she somehow manages to mumble into the phone, "Sure would be nice to have you and The Boy come down for Christmas this year."

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!?!?!?!?

I seriously think this woman would sacrifice her life in order to get TDH and The Boy down there against my wishes. If this be the path she chooses so be it, because he ain't going... and that would be her very last move.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Words to the Wise

I just received word that my soon to be ex mother-in-law is in the hospital with internal bleeding and an infection. Which brings to mind the phrase: If you can't pray for anything nice, don't pray for anything at all.

By the way, for those of you who followed the link, how about THAT foreshadowing?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bubbles

At yesterday's church picnic I won a Beta fish. It came complete with tank and food, although the tank is small and I might cave and get it something bigger.

Yesterday I asked The Boy to name it. To prod him I would name possible 2.5 year old suggestions: 'Nemo', 'Rocket', 'Leo'. At each one of those he exclaimed "Yes!" but not to name the fish that but rather to watch that particular program on tv.

I stopped asking.

This morning he asked for me to sit with him and I told him I needed to let the dog out and feed the fish. "Feed Bubbles?" he asked while pointing to the fish.

"Oh. We named the fish Bubbles?"

"Yes. Bubbles is the fish."


Let it be so.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Triumphant Melancholy

Today I cleaned out the kitchen. One big pantry, the coat/junk closet and the counter have been organized and in some cases cleared - the TRIUMPANT.

As timing would have it TDH was in town and so I called him to collect his stuff and the transition from 'our kitchen' to 'my kitchen' was complete - the MELANCHOLY. You might wonder after 11 years of marriage how I know whose was whose. General rule of thumb: if it is from the 60's or 70's and should have been thrown out/replaced YEARS ago... then it is his.

A good and trusted friend of mine who has been through this in a far more intense way than I am going through told me that the phrase 'triumphant melancholy' is appropriate; and I should be prepared to use it often. Each success at moving on is also a reminder that life is not even close to how I imagined it would be.

I thought I was okay at first, but now I can tell from my weariness and other signs that I am not so okay. I will be, just not right this second. And that's okay. I guess.

This is starting to feel more and more like my reality and that is a positive step. I am now in month 4 of taking care of all finances and we are in a good place, not great but good and that feels good. I am using the entire master bedroom closet and I now sleep in the middle of the bed (okay, I have to REMIND myself to do that, but still I am doing it). And yesterday at the grocery store (a job I HATE and before 4 months ago haven't had to do in 11 years!) I had my list and my coupons and I was in and out in less than an hour and felt like I looked like I knew what I was doing.


All positive TRIUMPHANT steps in the right direction - 1 foot in front of the other, 1 breathe at a time, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" and of course ... row.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Interview Edition

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
Ummmmmmm. Probably the one I wrote about under question #3. Although now that I think about it I remember my first college interview as being a total disaster and I remember telling my Mom on the way there that it wasn't just a visit it was also an interview and her freaking out because I was wearing short and a t-shirt. No worries though, the college was in Florida so that was considered proper attire.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
Occasionally I have been the interviewer and I think I am in between. I like to think up scenarios even though when I am on the other side of it I HATE scenarios.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
Phone interviews are always a challenge and I remember one in particular where I just did a horrendous job of keeping everyone's names straight and answering the questions. They had listed in their information that they were looking for someone with a sense of humor (every church wants that and someone who preaches Biblically based sermons, you know rather than those Harlequin based sermons we keep hearing) and for some reason I answered just about every question they asked with, "Well, my friend said you had a good sense of humor so I thought I'd be a good fit."
Every. Question. It was terrible... but now I know better what church that is and where it is and I would not want to be there anyway.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
The best - Well, now that I am older it seems like a no-brainer but after my first job interview out of college - which I didn't get - the pastor who was involved in the interview told me I should always have questions to ask the interviewees.

The worst - Go ahead and order the wine at the dinner interview.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
Just read over their materials again looking for specifics that I can incorporate into my answers... and oh yeah, check my teeth!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Shaky High Road

Can a pastor say, "I'm sorry, if you are a friend of hers then you are no friend of mine."