Monthly Archives: November 2007

End of November musings

I had a very unusual experience the other day, even unusual for me, which is REALLY saying something.  I’ll start with this.  I believe in signs.  In whatever form they take.  This, to me, can only be interpreted as a sign.  Ok.

So, I’m at the mall where I work (*side note:  for those who don’t “know me” in the biblical sense, you should know up front, I detest the mall.  It’s crowded, you are breathing other peoples icky air, it’s like a giant public toilet to me.  ugh  Not my favorite place. ) and this older lady walked up to me.  Now, I’m busy setting up, and she just starts talking to me.  Says that Santa is going to be good to me this year, that I deserve it.  I, at first, have NO clue who she is talking to, and look around. Its just the two of us, so I look over at her, and she continues talking.  Tells me about herself, briefly, about the fact that those in need, like me (???) deserve to be treated better..etc.  VERY odd.  Anyway, she concludes by saying that she’ll be back, and has something for me.  Ok says I, and I bid her goodbye.  Yesterday, she showed up again. She gave me a prayer, said to say it each day 15 times, starting today, and that I was praying for my desires for the holiday.  Then she left.  Since I know that I’m not the only one who has had a tough year, I thought maybe it wasn’t for me, but that I was to act as a vessel and share it with someone else, so I am. 

Christmas Anticipation Prayer
Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle’s feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Will I say it?  Absolutely.  Should you?  That’s up to you.  I’m simply the vessel.

On another note, I had the MOST AMAZING photo session last night, but before you say “well, lemme see!!!”….I can’t.  It’s a Christmas gift for …someone….who cannot be mentioned here lest they view this.  I can’t even say WHOM I photographed.  grrr.  I can say this much.  I just love to photograph people who hate having their picture taken.  It’s always fun to watch them unwind a bit.  It was a funny session too.  They arrived at my home, where I was all set up.  Walked in, looked around and said “wow, it’s like a real photography studio in here…you have all the junk”.  I said “well, duh…did you think I was a hack or something?”  laugh laugh.  Dec 26 I’ll share some of the photos, which really came out awesome, if I do say so myself, which I did.  I’m working in some Low Key stuff right now, in black and white, and am really pleased with the results. 

I am also VERY excited about the fact that Mr. Jack Daniels and myself will be visiting one another this afternoon.  We haven’t seen each other in a while (I can’t justify THAT expense right now….but today I can.) It’s  FRIDAY! woohoo.  AND November 30.  Which is the last day of the month of November.  on a friday.  What does this mean to you, you ask?  Probably nothing.  What does it mean to me?  Well…..in our house we have a tradition.  If your Birthday falls on a weekend, or friday/monday, you get the entire weekend for your birthday.  Why?  Because xh’s b-day fell on labor day a LOT, and he got the day off.  Kids were like “why does HE get extra days, and not us….so I instituted the plan.  SOOOOOOO……since it’s friday, and monday is…well…..monday (he he) it’s my weekend!  And since Mr. Daniels is likely to be my only openable gift, I will celebrate well. (see why DD couldn’t put up a fight against family photo sunday?!? aha!)  My other gift, which actually is infinitely better, is that my JoJo is coming back from Atlanta (where he doesn’t belong) with his wife Lauren for the ENTIRE month of December. Jojo is the one who sat with me while I cried in his lap like a baby when I was fired.  Never made fun of me, helped me to see the light, and told me that this was an opportunity for me to do whatever I wanted.  He gave me the courage to see the future as expansive, instead of bleak.   He is a good man with a kind heart, and his wife is a beautiful, loving, kind woman.   Isn’t he handsome?!?

I’m very blessed to have friends like him. When we were all at the Railroad, there was a little group of us that hung out. Unfortunately Geoff moved off to CA and abandoned me (don’t be offended G, you did!) to make his life better, and then Jojo moved to GA. Sad Sad suzy. These guys were my rock, my solidarity. I swear they can walk on water when I’m not looking.   They are great listeners, always cut to the point, and made me feel like a princess. They treated me with respect, dignity, and NEVER EVER considered being  inappropriate. To them, I was just one of the guys, and I love them so much, miss them more, and wish we could all be together for my…monday. They’re in my heart tho…and know I’m in theirs. 🙂 

Lastly, I spoke with Santa yesterday…heart to heart.  I asked him to make my children’s Christmas wonderful, and asked him to leave a little something extra for all my blogging friends.  I told him that without YOU I wouldn’t have made it through these last few months with ANY sanity, and that you deserved a special gift.  When it arrives, consider it a thanks from me.  🙂

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It’s Santa!

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Yep, that’s me n’ Santa! Taken yesterday on my little gizmo (pocket pc). Not a great shot, but it’s me the big guy together at work. Hey, it was a slow time! Isn’t he cute? He’s so much fun, and really great with the kids. Makes the day a lot better.

DD’s B-day was fun…she loved her gift cert from Sephora, and went happily off with her friends to have dinner.

AND I am happy to announce that we have SET A TIME for the family photo!  DD provided lots of rolling eyes at the idea, but hey, she owes it to me I think.  🙂  Sunday morning we’ll be looking bright and not too shiny to have our photo taken by yours truly (don’t you just LOVE those remote trigger thingies?!?)  Promise to share once it’s done.  Other than that….nothing new in my corner of the world…not that I can think of at least, so I’ll be brief.  🙂

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Happy Birthday Shanny

She’s got a smile that it seems to me, reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face, she takes me away to that special place
And if I’d stare too long, I’d probably break down and cry

Oh…..Sweet child o’ mine

I think that it takes a mom, or a very special kind of person, to be able to tell you exactly what they were doing at a certain moment 8, 10, 15, or in this case 19 years ago. This, for me, is one of those moments. The last 24 hours, actually, I could have walked you through my day 19 years ago.

I was 23, 6 days from my 24th birthday. It was midnight, and my water broke. The treasure I had awaited for 9 long months was finally ready to come to fruition. Your dad was awake before I could make it back to the bedroom, and off to the hospital we went. Dewitt Army Hospital, to be exact. I was so excited, your dad was so nervous. Once I was settled, did you know that he went home “to let the dog out?” I think he was frightened to be there, waiting and wondering. When he returned, he helped me to walk around, brought me the sunday paper, and we sat chatting quietly as other moms came and went….you took your time even then. A shannon is NEVER to be rushed.

After 25 hours of active labor, you popped into the world. Because you were so big, the doctors told me all along that you were a boy. When you came into this world, the first thing the doctor said was “that’s the funniest looking boy I’ve ever seen”. I was so scared, until he turned you around. You were, and still are, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. You hardly cried…just took in the world around you with that serious “hmmm what can I do with THIS” look you get. A look I have seen thousands and thousands of times in your life…a look I love and respect. I picked your first name, he, your second.

The took you away to the nursery, your dad went home to get some sleep, and I went to my room with 3 other women. Although I had been awake over 28 hours, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t wait for them to bring you back to me. I was able to see you again at 6:00am. I just couldn’t put you down. You were so perfect, so beautiful, and all mine. We just looked at each other, and I told you all the hopes and dreams I had for you, promised to love and protect you forever. That was the first time I ever sang “my girl” to you.  You simply looked at me, taking it all in. When your dad returned at 7, and held you for the first time since you were born, you promptly threw up in his shirt pocket.

I used to just sit and watch you sleep, wondering at this miracle that had been presented to me. Feeling unworthy of such a wonderous gift. If I sit long enough, I can remember each and every day of your life. You are such a treasure, a true miracle to me. I would sing “sweet child o’ mine” to you, and you would smile. “My Girl” was our song. Our secret moment. Did you ever wondered why these were your very favorite songs throughout your life?

Through all of our years, our trials and tribulations, we’ve always been the best of friends. I always swore to that. My mother and I were not, and I refused to have that relationship with my daughter. You really are my best friend. You know more about me than any living person ever has, have supported me, lifted me up, been my strength, my cheering section, my fred. I love you so much, I am so proud of you. You have grown into an honest, respectful, beautiful, incredible, strong and independent woman. You are your own person. A bit hard-headed at times, but I think that will serve you well in life. You don’t let anyone run over you, and that is good. And even when I get angry with you, which happens to everyone from time to time, I still can’t help but cut you some slack, because you are MY baby girl.

And today, as you turn 19, know that as much as I loved you at that first moment, I love you infinitely more now…and it grows every day. My wish for you on this day, as for every day, is that you have the life you imagined for yourself, you find love, honesty, and kindness at every turn, never look back with regret, make and keep good friends, influence others, don’t be pushed around, be your own light, have faith, trust God to lead you, pray daily, play hard, and baby, don’t let the bastards get you down.

Being 19, I know you are too cool to read all the junk your mommy writes, so you’ll never see this, but I hope that somehow, you remember, even when I forget to say it, I am so proud of you, and I love you so much. Happy Birthday baby girl.

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Sad News

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It’s a sad day for Redskins and fans everywhere….Safety Sean Taylor has passed away.  As an avid ‘skins fan, this is such a horrid blow.  Taylor’s been with the skins since 2004, and had an amazing career ahead of him.

Redskins.com official statement is as follows:

The family of Sean Taylor has notified the Redskins that Taylor passed away Tuesday morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.He was 24 years old.

In a statement from Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder “this is the worst imagineable tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sean’s family.”

Taylor was injured Monday in a shooting at his residence in Miami and did not survive.

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Receiving, and giving back

I received this awesome award from my Bloggin Buddy Tammy today, and I am just so tickled!  Yep, we are good bloggin buddies, and that’s what makes the world go round!  Thanks Tammy, you are so sweet to me!
I’m gonna share this with a few ladies that are more than just visitors…they’re bloggin buddies!
Bridget at And Miles to Go
Terri at Mrs. Squidley’s Place
Hootin’ Anni at Hootin Anni’s

AND …..drumroll please……….as the confetti falls from the ceiling (just one more thing to clean up)

I have created, and am distributing a MAJOR AWARD! 

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Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, that IS my leg lamp. lol! My favorite major award, which constantly makes me smile. In the spirit of the season, this award goes to bloggers who I think have the mind power, and lots of glue, to keep us all running! My initial recipients are folks who ALWAYS make me smile, and are NOT fra-gee-lay!

Tammy at Mom Knows Everything
Bridget at And Miles to Go
Barb at Skittles Place
Terri at Mrs. Squidley’s Place
Siani at Siani’s Pot-Pourri
Hootin’ Anni at Hootin Anni’s

Please take this MAJOR award, go forth, and share it with bloggers with “mind power!”

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Heads or Tails – Mark

Mark 8:36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

This Weeks theme for Heads or Tails is “Mark”.  This is one of my favorite passages from the Gospel of Mark, so I thought I would go this direction.  A bit on the philosophical side perhaps today.

I have found that in life, there are certain types of people who are willing to give up everything for some sort of financial gain, advancement, or recognition.  I certainly applaud these folks for their aplomb and drive, however, that’s just not me.  And I wonder to what cost are they willing to pay?

For one reason or another, I have been in situations where it seemed that I was  forced to “sell my soul” to survive, get by, or simply exist.  Bowing down and dropping all my convictions in order to meet someone elses, so that I may gain whatever the proffered prize may be…money, time with my kids, a job, etc.  It’s such a horrid feeling, for me at least.  And although we cannot physically sell our souls, the simple action we participate in, leaves a kind of emptiness inside….as though we have actually given away part of our true being.  In a sense, I suppose we have….by denouncing all that we believe in, we have sold off some part of ourselves…allowed it to be removed from us.  Was it worth it?  Only the one in the situation, the one living with the end result, can answer that. 

I know that the times I have had my hand forced, and been placed in these situations, I wondered….is it really worth living with this decision for the rest of my life?  Am I supposed to fight this instead of surrender?  To what avail….is usually my final decision maker.  I ask myself that….and await an answer.  Sometimes the answer easy, and obvious, other times, not so much.

I think as parents, as moms in general, we are called upon to do things to protect and defend our children, our families in ways that are difficult, sometimes frightening.  Whether taking a new job, a lesser job, staying home, giving up things for ourselves, whatever the particular case may be.  We are the ones who have to bend, if not break, to fit the family mold, protect and serve, defend.  If it were only me, I would be more apt to say “F off” and move on, but for the kids, I would not only sell my soul, but gift wrap it in gold paper and hand deliver it.  And at times, have been forced to do so.  Those incidents, those moments, when reviewed, even though difficult to stomach, I know that the decision was right…for my children are now safe, happy, smart, and protected.  Can I live with myself for making those decisions, yes.  Did I gain the whole world by protecting them?  Yes.  Did I profit?  Yes.  Do I regret it?  Not at all. 

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12 questions of Christmas Meme

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For the holiday season, Hootin Anni  has started a meme. “The Twelve Questions of Christmas” I thought this sounded like a lot of fun….so here we go:

1. Christmas is Joyous.

2. In memories, what was the best part of your Christmases past?
    Being with my children…watching the wonder in their eyes.

3. Was Santa ever good to you? [describe how and what]
     When my DD “discovered”, it was a sad moment for me. I love filling stockings, and   always find the most unusual “fave” things from Santa. A few years ago, my DD returned the favor, by being santa to the mom (who’s stocking is always empty). It was simple, a tin of Badger hand balm that I love, and would never buy myself. The fact that “santa” knew this, and took her own money and bought it, made it one of the best gifts ever. (I still have it…although I’m sure it’s gone bad by now!)

4. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or both?
  The kids are allowed to open one gift Christmas Eve..(selected by mom of course), the rest on Christmas Morning.

5. Is there something you make each and every year?
  Along with the myriad of cookies, DD loves buckeyes. I try to make them every year for her alone.

6. What is your favorite five[5] Christmas songs/hymns?
  In no particular order:
  What child is this
  Go tell it on the Mountain
  Santa Baby
  Celebrate me home (always makes me cry)
  Children go where I send thee

7. Is there a new tradition for Christmas since your childhood days?
  We make cookies, something I never did as a kid. Oh!  DD would never forgive me if I forgot this.  I have to have the fireplace on the tv during present opening.  It’s weird, I know, but somehow it works for me. 

8. Describe one of your Christmas trips.
  I’m going to leave this one….since one of my most memorable “trips” was home from my father’s funeral when I was 16. 😦

9. Do you have a special Christmas outfit to wear for the day?
  Ha! I just try not to have photo’s of me in my pj’s!

10. Have YOU or any of your family members sat on Santa’s lap?
  Yes….all of us. 🙂 (I’ll see if I can locate THOSE photos!  lol!)

11. What is/or will be on your Christmas tree this year?
  We will have a live tree, which goes up the day after my birthday. All the ornaments are individual…made by me or the kids, or purchased for them each year.

12. Do you/or have you decorated your yard for Christmas?
  Every year. I love lights, and door stuff…we have a lot of fun!

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