Friday, April 18, 2008

Can I get a Witness?

Following the CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) Retreat that I went on a few weeks ago, the attendees were asked if interested in moving forward to plan the next weekend retreat for the next group of "chosen" women. This process is called formation.

The procedure is to meet with the group a couple of times a month to get to know each other better and make a decision as to what part you wished to play in the weekend. The roles available are coordinators of various aspects of the program, table leaders for the weekend's events and of course, witnessers, those people who get up and tell their stories and explain through different topics, how they've been touched by God, religion or simply by the CRHP weekend itself.

At first I really struggled with this. I couldn't imagine that I had anything truly significant to say in a witness, especially compared to all of the moving accounts that I heard on MY weekend. Then, the more people I shared details with about my experience -- how much I got out of it and what I realized about my faith (or lack there of) -- the more it seemed to touch people and was easily identifiable by individuals that I would have never guessed were having the same feelings as myself. I found there were many people living the way I worry that things were too good to be true, so therefore waiting for the tragedy to hit. Many of us wasting so much time distressing on how things are going to turn out instead of enjoying the journey.

Then the other day, I sat down to watch Finding Nemo with my girls. It was at the part where Nemo's dad and Dory are trapped inside the whale's mouth. Dory says to Marlin, "He (the whale) says it's time to let go!" And Marlin says "How do you know something bad isn't going to happen?" and Dory says "I don't." That affected me. And right then and there I decided that if a blue cartoon fish could inspire -- so could I.

So I determined to do a witness on "Renewal" on that weekend in September. I don't quite know what I'm going to say yet, but I know that if I can make one person on that retreat recognize that they are not alone in their fears and help them realize (like I am gradually each day) that he has a plan 'that is good' for each of us, then it will all be worth it. Nerves and all!

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Foundation

Every month, I meet a small pack of girls that I went to gradeschool with for dinner. My friendships with most of these girls go back as far as Kindergarten. I can truly say that these women are my foundation.
These dinners of ours are spent discussing topics ranging anywhere from home improvements to estrogen levels. We chat hours away sharing "our worlds" with each other until we are all up to speed. For me, these meetings are therapeutic. I get to share the latest and greatest on my mind, while realizing that the worries, interests and situations happening in my neck of the woods are also happening in theirs.

The greatest thing about this group of ladies, is that each one is so different than the next...yet we are all grounded together by our childhoods. Each one is special to me in a very different way:

Let me start with Stephanie. I begin with Steph because she is dying to "make the blog" so I want her to have a good seat, right up front. Stephanie is a tiny, spitfire of a woman who has a knack for comic relief like no other. She always has a story or "scoop" as she says and I've never attended an event with her that I didn't spend laughing out loud. Her humor is a gift. She is spunk, with a capital 'S'.

Next there is Dana. Dana exhibits shyness and reserve at our dinners, she seems to be taking it all in. However, I don't remember her this way from I know there is a wild woman locked away in there somewhere. Dana has been through some bumps and in my opinion has not even begun to tap into the strength she has inside of her. She is a kind and reliable friend.

Then there is Chrissy. Chrissy has a way about her that could make anyone comfortable. She is so intelligent, pretty and so creative, yet she is filled to the brim with modesty. She is a priceless commodity to our little group.

Next up is Jenny. Jenny is a nurse and our go-to-gal for all of our ailments and kids' health questions. Jenny is strong and she calls it like she sees it. Jenny and I have had a friendship for a very long time -- but I did not recognize the depth of that friendship until she (unexpectedly to me) attended the memorial service of my father -- a man she has never met nor probably ever even heard about. She was there for me and me alone. I'll never forget that!

Now...Tracy, Tracy, Tracy. I don't think I have a childhood memory in which Tracy is not present and accounted for. She lived down the street from me as a kid and we were together ALL of the time. Tracy is one of the most optimistic people I know and she is hardly ever without a smile. She is sweet, she is fun, to me...she is Grease Lightening!

And last, but positively not least, is Joy. I have too many word for this blog entry for Joy. She was special to me as a kid, but she is invaluable to me now as an adult. Joy is a comfort to me when I'm worried and an encouragement when I'm struggling. To me, Joy is inspirational in her mothering, her support to her family and her faith in God. She is a friend in the true sense of the word and I feel blessed to have her in my life.

Although I see these girls but once a month, I think of them much more often. They especially take space in my mind as I start to prepare Barrett for Kindergarten. I pray that she, too, finds the life long friends that I did. I am very lucky to still have these unique women in my life on a constant. I love you guys!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Girls Partied All Weekend

On Saturday night the girls attended their first "Almost" slumber party at their cousin Brynn's home (Barrett's bestest friend), where they got to eat lots of junk, play girly games and do elaborate crafts. My idea of an art project is coloring pictures or sticking on foam shapes...however, their crafty aunt Jenny had the girls mold their own soap and make their own lip gloss (made of Crisco and kool-aid mix, I do not recommend -- yuck!). The girls had a great time but we picked them up right before bedtime. We are not quite ready for sleepovers.

Sunday morning, we squeezed in church before going to a bowling party for cousin Matthew's 3rd birthday. It was at Epiphany (my old gradeschool) Lanes (they have a small bowling alley there). It was such a cute little party and the girls had a blast...and I love the shoes! Barrett could have thrown that ball down the gutter-bumpered lanes all day long. And although Peyton did roll the ball down a few times, she much preferred cheering everyone on. I got video of that -- hopefully I can get that posted later (I need a little help).

Immediately following, we headed to the Overland Moose Lodge to attend a surprise 60th birthday party for their great Aunt Patti. The surprise was a success, for Patti thought we were having the Easter hunt and party that was cancelled weeks ago due to weather. Unfortunately, Barrett spent the day asking "when's the egg hunt?".

The Lodge was filled with familiar people, heaps of food and tons of pictures of Patti's 60 years. It was obvious that she was effected by the gathering and shocked by the event. Although, I don't why -- Patti has touched many people's lives with her warmth and kindness and everyone was more than anxious to pay tribute to her. She is very special in all of our lives -- She has always been a great encouragement and inspiration to Brad in his career endeavors, she's a wonderful friend to me and she is kind of a "grandma-extension" to the girls. We all love her dearly. Happy 60th, Patti...and many more!

Now that the whirlwind of a weekend is done, I am relieved to get back to normal pace and start our Monday (and the laundry). Now if you'll excuse me, I am being summoned to a match of Princess Memory Game....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Big Step

Yesterday, I gave this blog address out to a handful of special people in my life. This was a big move for me because before yesterday, this blog was a hidden treasure of mine where I spoke my thoughts and only two people knew where to find them (my mom and a friend who encouraged me to start the blog in the first place).
My reasons for now sharing this haven, was a possibility of deeper exposure from another source. It was important to me to invite in the familiar before the strangers arrived so that I wasn't standing in the room alone.

Yesterday I was given an opportunity of a guest blogger spot on, a blog I visit daily because I like to see what real people, who aren't being paid to talk, are choosing for their beauty regimens. If you haven't read my review yet, I'd love for you to check it out and leave a comment on that website. If I get enough readership, maybe I'll be asked to do it again! The review is on Philosophy's Pure Grace fragrance.

The review was a great experience for me because I had been looking for a small way back into writing for a while. I have been away from it for so long, that I was starting to doubt my ability for it.

Now that this small task is completed, I feel a little more confident to proceed and find other outlets to ease back into writing. Thanks, Chic Critique!

One the home front...

Two princesses stopped by yesterday. Aren't they beautiful? I think I'll keep them captive in my castle forever!