Wednesday, July 31, 2013

charleston bound

Have a great weekend everybody! We'll be back on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


  1. Take math exam to enter program at the local college: CHECK
  2. Pick up paper work at the school district to submit to college: CHECK
  3. Pay registration fee: CHECK
  4. Fill out paperwork for the "go to college free" grant: CHECK
  5. Sign up for district class to be re-hired as a substitute teacher in the fall: CHECK

  1. Worry about taking the course load: CHECK
  2. Worry about helping JP get through his second grade year while taking classes myself: CHECK
  3. Worry about not bringing in enough money while in school: CHECK
  4. Worry about what the future holds for us: CHECK
  5. Worry about other "bumps" taking place in our home at the moment: CHECK
At least my lists are equal.  One doesn't out weigh the other.  The only difference is, the first set awards me with a sense of accomplishment and allows me to feel productive.  The second set drains me and leaves me exhausted and gasping for peace.

Hmmm.  Wonder which one I should focus on?  I have a book by Max Lucado called, "Every Day Deserves A Chance."  It is not a very long book.  It is very simple to read.  I have read through it twice.  It's one of those books you really should pick up from time to time and reread all of the markings and highlights you made while reading it the first time around.  It is packed full of positive thoughts and insightful passages.  Just like all of his books.  There is a short passage that I love and I "just happened" to read over it today:

" God knows what you need and where you'll be. Trust Him. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes..."
Isn't this true?  God has NEVER failed in this (or any other) area in my life.  Yet when the boat starts rockin' I immediately begin to panic.  In addition to the stresses we have been learning to live with over this past year, Satan has thrown several new logs onto the fire.  AND IT IS GETTING HOT IN OUR HOUSE!  Lately it seems like each time we turn around we trip over another stump in the road. 

And after a while, it hurts.  Our family is getting really tired.  Bruised.

Today was one of those days I didn't even feel like getting out of bed and getting dressed.  I felt a little better as the day progressed, but not entirely.  I just felt heavy, ya know?!  I'm sure that most of you know.  Everyone has their cross to bear.  My dad mentioned today that we may need to reread the book of Job in the Bible.  I might just have to do that. 

Although things seem to get crazier by the day, I am STILL determined NOT to fall victim to self-pity, bitterness and anger.  It's just NOT going to happen!  Despite our circumstances, my list of blessings grows longer each day and I have a brand new appreciation for life. 

This is not at all the direction I intended to go with this post. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful day.  I am super excited about our Wednesday...JP's friend, Joseph (from the previous post), is spending part of the day with us tomorrow!  I will have lots of pictures to share.  Such a special little friendship.

Such a blessing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

joseph & joseph '13

Most of you, who have followed my blog, know who these little pieces of sweetness are!  JP and "the other" Joseph were in the SAME children's home in Guatemala when they were babies.  His grandmother and MY aunt have been in the same church together for YEARS.  Through our family members, Joseph's mother and I were introduced and began our journey of adoption together.

Adoption is amazing enough.  But, as I've shared before, watching these boys grow up together is an unbelievable feeling.  We will ALL be forever grateful to God for allowing us the opportunity to experience these children.  Together.

home sweet home (for a couple days anyway...)

I am home from Atlanta.  And GLAD to be home.  Kathi and I had a great time, but I sure do LOVE Greenville.  I am NOT a big city girl.  We stayed at the Omni Hotel and it was very nice.  There were two conferences held in the area, so it was PACKED.  However, this provided us the opportunity to meet lots and lots of new people.  That's always a lot of fun.  Our efforts to meet people landed us some fun FREE stuff!  One thing we did (compliments of our new security guard friends) was an inside tour of the CNN building and newsrooms.  That was really cool.

Other than that, we hung around causing trouble around the hotel most of the time!  There was a rooftop pool and hot tub.  NICE!

We spent two nights relaxing in the hot tub.  Very enjoyable. 

One afternoon, we walked to the Hard Rock CafĂ©. 

Although we had a blast, I was very thankful to be home.  Of course, I always miss was good to have him with me again!

We are only home for a couple of days.  Wednesday evening (or Thursday morning) we are heading to Charleston so JP can get on the beach again before the school year begins.  So, stay tuned for pics from that trip.  I am really looking forward to it, but am expecting it to be HOT, HOT, HOT!

And finally,  I STILL DO NOT HAVE MY LAPTOP.  We are calling today and just telling the man that we are coming to pick it up.  So, who knows WHEN I will have a working computer.  I am praying that I do not have to end up buying a whole new one.  I am afraid it may come to that.  I HAVE to have a computer once my classes begin.  UGH.

I guess that's all for now.  I hope everyone is doing well.  HAPPY, HAPPY MONDAY!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

how are you doing?

I sit here a little overwhelmed with different emotions.  I don't even really know how to begin this post.  As I type, the living room is alive with little voices and toys that make all sorts of unique noises.   The air is filled with both obnoxious and soothing sounds, all at the same time.  My environment has become one that I have trouble living with, yet am not sure I could live without at this moment in my life.  I love my family.  They have been a source of calm for me, (as ironic as that might sound),  during this tidal wave of chaos that formed in my life overnight. 

I am OFTEN asked "How are you doing?"  by friends, acquaintances, coworkers and family.  I have decided to attempt to answer the complicated question in this post.  It shouldn't be complicated.  I mean, I'm either doing well or NOT doing well, right?  However, it is just not that simple.  I find myself experiencing many different emotions on any given day.  Some good. Some not so good. But I have learned that every emotion I experience is both normal and legitimate.  I struggled with that in the beginning of my trial.  Everywhere I turned, there was a new person delivering their opinion and advice to me.  Don't get me wrong, I valued most of what I heard.  Having said that, though, I found myself highly sensitive to the opinions of others.  I would allow myself to feel so guilty if I wasn't "mourning" in the right way, or if I was not "as happy" as I should be on a certain day of the week.  Until recently, I would become obsessed with how "so and so" was handling their separation or divorce.  I constantly felt like I wasn't "getting over it" as quickly as I should.

But, I do not feel that way anymore.  Through (much) prayer, family, great friends and LOTS of reading material, I feel like I am finally in touch with HOW ANDREA FEELS.  How Andrea is doing.  My answer?  If I had to answer the question of "how I am doing" in one simple word, I would have to say that I am not good, bad, or okay.  I am LEARNING. 

  • I am learning how to be a different type of mother to JP
  • I am learning how to start all over again
  • I am learning how to find normalcy in the middle of an abnormal environment
  • I am learning how to live in a house with five other people
  • I am learning how to live without a spouse
  • I am learning how to co-parent with Scott
  • I am learning how to find God in the middle of circumstances where He doesn't always seem present
  • I am learning how to reinvent myself
  • I am learning how to set new goals for myself
  • I am learning how to not take one single day for granted
  • I am learning how to appreciate every thing around me
  • I am learning how to make the most of EVERY day
I could continue on for days.  Eleven months ago, I was a basket case.  I never knew when I woke up what kind of mood I was going to be in.  I was unable to tell, until I peeled myself out of bed each morning, if it was going to be a sad day or a happy day.  My feelings were very inconsistent and extreme.  Thankfully, over the course of time, my emotions have leveled out.  I began to ask God to show me ONE thing to be thankful for each day.  And I would focus on that.  And just like with any mother, JP was always that ONE thing. In addition to JP, God has shown me that there are many more blessings in my life than I even realized.  Or maybe I just took them for granted.  In the middle of my unfortunate circumstances, I have been given a new sense of thankfulness. 

Most of the books I have read say the same thing.  They offer advice on how to "get through" your trial and come out on the other end a better person.  While that sounds great, I have found that it is not always practical.  I am no longer interested in getting through my storm.  I want to learn how to live in the cloud and find it's purpose while there.  I am currently reading what is probably one of the BEST books on loss there is.  My opinion may be a little premature since I have not even read half of it's content.  I literally am having trouble putting it down.  It is so enlightening.  The book is called, "A Grace Disguised, How the soul grows through loss,"   by Jerry Sittser.  The author was in a car accident where he lost his mother, wife and four year old daughter.  His pain, as you can imagine, is unfathomable.  Yet, over the years he found a way to "live in the sorrow."  He stopped concentrating on ways to get PASSED it and moved on living one day at a time.  Hour by hour.  I'd like to share a few excerpts from the pages.

"The decision to face the darkness, even if it led to overwhelming pain, showed me that the experience of loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives.  Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss.  It is not what happens TO us that matters as much as what happens IN us.  Darkness, it is true, had invaded my soul.  But then again, so did light.  Both contributed to my personal transformation."
"I did not go through pain and come out the other side; instead, I lived in it and found within that pain the grace to survive and eventually grow."
"I learned gradually that the deeper we plunge into suffering, the deeper we can enter into a new, and different, life - a life no worse than before and sometimes better."
In other words.  Do not run from your "darkness,"  whether that be divorce, abuse, death or any other type of loss.  I am learning to embrace my unexpected and sudden pain and LEARN from it each day.
This past year has not been an enjoyable one.  And I have no idea what my immediate future holds for me and JP.  What I DO  know is that no matter what we face, God has equipped us BOTH with the spiritual and emotional tools to handle it.  Good or bad. 
And that is how I am doing.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Today was such a nice day.  We went to church, came home for lunch and then met my girl, Kerri and her boys at the movies.  We saw Turbo.  FOUR THUMBS DOWN!!  That's another post...
I give the company FIVE STARS!

The collage below is one of my favorites that I have made.... I LOVE these boys.  And laughter is so good for the soul! 

Have a SUPER week, everyone!  Keeping my fingers crossed for my laptop to be returned this week.  I am bored with these posts, as I am sure you are!
Until I get my computer, you have to settle for SHORT & SWEET!! This is my new life motto...

Friday, July 19, 2013

friday night sunset

And at the end of a PERFECT day,  God painted a picture.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Wow.  I am sitting here on my sister's computer after finding out that it will be AT LEAST another week and a half before I get my own laptop back.  Argh!  There is NOTHING more frustrating to me.  All of my documents, my manuscripts and pictures are on mine.  Anyway!  I will be thankful if it is working properly when it is returned to me.

Now, on to better things!  My trip to the Bahamas was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!  And that is really not an appropriate adjective to describe our time on the open sea!  I loved every single thing about it.  I will say, however, that if you are subject to motion sickness, I would think twice before taking a cruise.  Please understand that this is ONLY MY OPINION.  But the weather, as we all know, is unpredictable and there were those on our ship who got sick even with medicine, bracelets, the "behind the ear" stick on things, etc.  The weather was great, but it was windy, so the ocean was fairly rough.  I actually liked that night, it rocked me to sleep!  Having said that, the ship was so much fun, as were the stops we made in Freeport and Nassau. I take that back, Freeport was B.O.R.I.N.G!  Nothing to do.  There was a Senior Frogs, so we spent the whole day there.... I won't post those pics!! LOL.  Atlantis was everything it is advertised to be.  As you can see in my previous post, we spent 1/2 the day in the water with the dolphins!  FUN!  And very worth the money.  The price also gives you access to the hotel and the aquarium.  One word describes that experience.  BEAUTIFUL.

It will come as no surprise to those of you who know me and Kathi, but we SHOWED OUT on the ship!!  We met SO MANY fun people and got to know a large majority of the staff!  I wouldn't even know where to begin in telling you everything that we did.  The dinners were incredible and the staff was so friendly.  We went to shows, laid by the pool, sang Karaoke and danced all over the place!  Most of my pictures are on Kathi's camera, so I will have to post them a little over time. 

Here are just a few more to hold you over....

Of course I missed my little man LIKE CRAZY!  Six days was way too long to be away from him with no communication.  I didn't like that part at all.  I wrote him a letter for him to find after I left.  Apparently he carried it around in his pocket all day every day and read it over and over again.... L.O.V.E him.

Well, that's all for now folks.  I hope that everyone is doing well.  I will try to post more later.  At least I know I should have my own computer again next week.


We are home from the Bahamas!  It was AMAZING! My laptop is STILL being repaired. Boo! I will upload  more pics later!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

carnival, sail me away...

My laptop is STILL "in the shop," so I am keeping this short and sweet.  It is hard typing this on my phone.


Stay tuned for pics and updates...

Thursday, July 4, 2013


My laptop is being repaired.  It is very difficult to update my blog from my phone. Be patient with me!  I hope to have it back SOON!

I will have plenty of pics to share AND some very exciting news...

HAPPY 4th, friends!