Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soulmates - Real or Imagination?

Do you believe in soulmates? It's often a question that we are asked by a girlfriend who believes that she has just found "the one". But do they really exsist, or is it just a figment of our imagination?

Do you believe in soulmates? Yes, I do. I also believe that you can have more than one, just not at a time. I believe that my husband and I were meant to be together. We got married at 20, we were still babies, and we more or less spent our 20's growing up together. Which, I believe has a lot to do with the stability of our marriage now. Sure, we have had our rough patches, but before we said our vows we took divorce out as an option. We agreed, that no matter how bad things were, that we work it out, and we stayed married. Obviously adultery and abuse were the deal breakers. If either of those happened, all bets were off.

I wake up everyday thankful that John is my husband, and when I sit at work and daydream, or when I should be working on homework and I think about the future, and things that I want to do, places I want to see, he is there. I can't look forward without seeing him right there in the middle of my plans. I can't imagine not having him as a part of my life.

On the other hand, I think that people put too much thought into love at first sight. You can't just look at the guy walking down the street and think that he is the one, as your eyes meet. Sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn't work like that. That's more like lust at first sight. Yes, I believe that when you "know", you know. Whether you have been dating for 3 weeks, or you are still on your first date. It hits you like a ton of brinks, and typically freaks you out, then the more time you spend together the more you realize that you can't imagine that person not being a part of your life.

I didn't know when I met John that I would be marrying him 9 months later. I didn't have a clue. Yet, after our 3rd or 4th date(no, I can't remember which one), he said something that was completely and utterly profound, and in an instant I realized that I couldn't imagine my life without him. It scared the hell out of me. Yet, when we begin to plan our wedding, just 5 months after we met, I never doubted. Geez, I wasn't even nervous when I walked down the aisle. I was more worried about rubbing blisters because my shoes were too small, than I was about marrying someone that I had only known for 9 months.

I believe that God has someone picked out for each of us. Sometimes, I think that we, as humans, screw up and we miss our soulmate. Sometimes, I think that we get so caught up in our own baggage and our own ideas of what the perfect mate would be that we miss them. Sometimes we get a second chance, and sometimes we don't.

So now your going to tell me that if something tragic happened and John and I divorced, or worse, that I wouldn't find love again based on my own theory. I think your wrong. It's my theory after all. God has our whole lives mapped out, before conception, he knows everything. He knows what I'm having for dinner tomorrow night, even though I don't. Yes, I believe that there are forks in the road, that he doesn't know yet what we do, but otherwise, I believe that my niece, who is 10, her sole mate is out there, that one person that God has picked for her to spend the rest of her life with. And I believe that if something tragic happened to John, that I would be able to have the faith and either be lucky enough to find my 2nd soulmate, or be at peace with being alone.

Sometimes I think that we just over think love. That we as a society see it as necessary, and that if you aren't part of a couple that there is something wrong with you. That you are unloveable. Maybe soulmates don't exsist, maybe they do, look at your spouse or significant other and try and picture the future, the future that you would want if you ruled the world, and what do you see? Are they right there in the middle of it, or is it just you? Everytime I take that little journey, I see me, standing in a kitchen, stirring something on the stove, thinking about how peaceful, and skinny that I look, and then there is John, with his arms around me, asking what smells so good, besides me of course.

Even though I believe that we are soulmates, I also believe that we can screw it all up, we are afterall, human. We make mistakes, we stop trying so hard, we stop working, and then things begin to unravel. So even though we are soulmates, we have to work to make sure that both of our needs and wants are being met. It just doesn't seem like work, it just seems like something that I would do for a friend.

Maybe that's the trick to finding your soulmate. Perhaps you need to find your best friend. Perhaps finding yourself, will let you find him. Maybe it's a process, one that we are unaware of, that helps lead us where we need to be, or maybe it's just us, listening to the right voice for a change.

~Do I love you because you're beautiful,Or are you beautiful because I love you? ~Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella

~Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

~Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein

~Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. ~Author Unknown

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recipes - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ok, so that title should be more like here yesterday, not any longer.

I talked to my mom yesterday. (now I'm waiting for the phone to ring, because that's what usually happens when I type her name on here.) Hmmm, her radar must be turned off.

So this is all her fault. If you want her email address, just let me know.

As I was cooking dinner last night, I decided that I needed another blog, because you know, I have so much free time. Actually, it's an idea I have been playing around with for a while, because SOME (my father) people, don't like me poking recipes in with my other ramblings. So I have laid off the recipes for a while, trying to come up with a plan of attack.

As I was cooking dinner last night, I came up with a plan. A new blog!!

So I created Gourmet Chef in Training. You are so very welcome. It's nothing but food. Nothing that will make you cry, well except onions. Nothing to make you laugh, because food isn't funny. If it starts telling jokes I think we have bigger problems. I have also created a link on the top of my blog that will take you to it, you know in case you forgot to bookmark it. And so I can find it too. I have some awesome ideas for it; ideas that don't require near as much thought as this blog. But you can read about all of those over there. I'm still in the process of getting it "perfect", and you know, I have to work, otherwise I couldn't pay for my internet and then my farm would die. It's all about priorities people!!

~Beef, it's what's for dinner. -Beef Tv Commercial

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life Altering

Can you imagine everything you had dreamed about and hoped for all changing in a split second? And after that particular moment how your life will never be the same.

This week someone who I went to high school with has experienced something that has fundamentally changed all of us. Every person that is her friend on facebook has been given a different perspective.

She lost her child. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, at 19 weeks. She was days away from finding out the sex of her greatly anticipated, and very much wanted, second child. Then as suddenly as she discovered this precious baby’s existence, she was gone just as quickly.

I can’t begin to imagine the emotions that she and her husband are experiencing right now. I only had my baby for 9 weeks, it was hard enough then, but she had began to feel the little flutters that the baby had brought, and then to suddenly lose it all.

What amazed me the most was the people on face book, and their reactions. Of course they were all saddened, as most of them have children, and they too, couldn’t imagine the injustice of it all. I’m sure that they were very grateful that their children were being too loud, or hitting their brother, or making messes, instead of the alternative.

All of those people on facebook that I went to high school with surprised me. For several days, not a single person complained about anything. Not one. Instead they all listed the things that they were thankful for, like their kids, spouses, pets, and for their faith. Because no matter what they had experienced in their lives up until that point, it all paled in comparison to the plight that we were all witnessing. Nothing could be as horrible as losing a child. It’s something that no parent, regardless of whether or not the baby had been born yet, should every have to experience.

I understand that things happen, things that I have absolutely no control over and the outcomes will not always be pleasant. That often those moments, those life altering moments will be because of a choice that someone else will have made for me. Car wrecks happen, planes crash, heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages, old age. None of us are immune, and sometimes those choices can change our lives forever.

I can’t begin to fathom experiencing a pregnancy up to that point, and anxiously awaiting to find out whether that baby was a girl or a boy, and then finding yourself in the middle of a nightmare hoping that you wake up and that this isn’t really happening.

I remember when the phone rang the morning that my husband had his wreck. It was a little after 9 in the morning, and I was asleep, because I was working nights, and after I saw his name on the caller ID and answered, as long as I live, I don’t think that I will ever forget the way his voice sounded. Ever. Within seconds I knew that something was wrong, that wreck, changed both of our lives. Probably not mine as much as it did his, but every time I see a car pull up to a stop sign going faster than I would like, I hold my breath until they stop. I can’t imagine how my husband feels.

While that was nothing compared to what my facebook friends are experiencing, it profoundly affected my life. Just like this loss, has affected all of her facebook friends lives. We are all young, and we have all experienced loss, just not to that degree, and none of us are prepared. Not that you could ever be prepared for something like that.

So the question remains: How do you move forward? How do you get up day after day and know that your life and your family will never be the same again? You simply do. And you keep doing that, over and over again, because no matter how immense your grief life goes on. Car payments are still due and dinner still has to be cooked.

I’m amazed at how well she is holding up and grieving. She has a strength that I hope I never have to find in myself. She has even managed to find joy in her daughter, and in saying goodbye to the daughter that she lost. She has managed to give profound reminders to all of us on facebook that God has a plan. And that a 2nd child wasn’t in her plans for right now. She has found peace in a situation that would have most angry, that would have caused most people to question their faith and God.

Instead she is rejoicing.

So this week, when things have seemed to be going down-hill, I have tried to rejoice. It hasn’t been easy, but this week I am very thankful. I’m thankful that my husband lets me boss him around, I’m thankful that he is at home with me instead of out running around, I’m thankful that I have 3 dogs who drag out toys and have takeout food that I step on at 2am, I’m thankful that they bark and howl and make lots of noise when I come home, even if I only took the trash out, I’m thankful that I have two parents who love and support me no matter what goofy things I do, I’m thankful that I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who love me too.

I’m rejoicing that God has a plan so wonderful that I can’t even begin to fathom its greatness. Sure there will be loss included in that plan, but without loss, life becomes meaningless. There is greatness in that too.

As for my friend and her loss, she is finding the joy, the beauty; in what precious time she had with her 2nd born. She is a wonderful example of faith and hope. I only hope that she realizes how many lives she has touched and changed with this experience, including my own. Maybe that was God’s plan for this beautiful baby girl after all.

~Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love. ~Terri Guillemets

~We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

~There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go. ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a friend

Today I lost someone very special to me. I lost a very good friend.

He didn’t die, or fall into a coma. We didn’t have a huge fight that we can get over and make up in a few years.

Mike and I became good friends in high school. I wasn’t one of those people who had tons of friends, instead the opposite was true, and I had several close friends. We were all more or less friends, my best friend, Amber, wasn’t as social as Mike was, so they were interested in different things and often got me out of my comfort zone and into doing things that I wouldn’t have normally done.

Mike was adventurous, and introduced me to mini van surfing, and made the years in high school after we joined forces fun, and exciting. He probably got me involved in things that I would have never done, otherwise, like going to the prom.

We graduated high school, and because we were two different people, who two different dreams and plans for our futures, went out into the world to make our mark and find our place. Mike’s world led him to the Air Force Academy, and then after graduation into the Air Force. He has seen things and experienced things that I can’t begin to fathom, and he has seen places that I would love too. We haven’t always maintained consistent contact during the years, often because the government wouldn’t allow it. We have managed to actually see each other only a handful of times since we graduated high school.

My life involved, school and working full time, getting married at 20 and starting a new chapter of my life being a wife. School got put on the back burner, as work became a necessity. We tried to start our family, while Mike has taken a weekend to go to Paris; we were doing laundry and repairing a gutter.

We have changed. Our lives have changed. We have both seen and experienced things that the other hasn’t, and we have both had things happen that we hope the other doesn’t have to suffer through. Such as Mike’s cancer diagnosis and my infertility. Yet, without realizing it, those experiences, those places, those choices have made us the people we are today.

Sure, we were both the underdog in high school, more nerdy and geeky than cool and popular. We were fine with that, and we swore that we would leave that school and go out and be someone. Am I were I wanted to be when I graduated high school? Absolutely not. If you would have told me that this is where I would be at when I turned 30, I would have laughed at you. I would have said that you were nuts. Mike, he is exactly where he wanted to be. Am I jealous? Absolutely. Who wouldn’t be jealous of all the places that he has been too and seen? Paris, Germany, Ireland, fabulous places in the US. I would love to see them, and I’m jealous that he had the courage to see his dreams through.

But then again, I’m not that jealous.
I like my life now. Oh sure, I wouldn’t recommend going back to school at 30, and getting married at 20; but I wouldn’t change a thing. Even though it means that someone who I considered on of my very, very best friends is a complete stranger to me.

We made different choices, and they brought us both where we are today.

So while losing him is hard, I’m not grieving for the person that he is today, because that person is a stranger to me. I’m grieving for the person that I remember him being, and the part that he played in my life. My only hope is that no matter what he does, or where he is, that he can look back and think of all the good times we had in high school, and that anytime he sees a mini-van that he thinks of me, and just for split second wishes he was 17 again.

~In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

~One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human. ~George Santayana

~Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to the Warp Zone

Imagine, if you will, a deep voice, much like that of Jon Luke Piccard.

Welcome to the Time Warp Zone

These are the voyages of the Abby Enterprise….I was going to be cute here and give you my version of the beginning version of Star Trek, which thanks to my mother’s unnatural love of weird shows, I thought was permanently ingrained into my brain. I’m very, very pleased to realize that without googling it, I don’t remember anymore than that. Thank goodness.

Then the phone rings, and it’s my mother. Coincidence or not?!? Maybe she has mind reading powers…but that’s a whole different post.

I digress.

Have you ever waken up and got to work and realized its not the right day? You know, you think that today is Wednesday and it’s actually Thursday. Or you are writing a check (yes, I still do that, I’m not completely plastic yet) and you realize that it’s the 20th of July and you are wondering what happened to July? Because yesterday it was just the 2nd.

Welcome to Calendar Warp.

Calendar Warp – n – a strange disease that effects people after age 25, or earlier if they have small children. (yeah, I made it up, don’t go fussing at Webster)

This doesn’t affect small children. They haven’t been taught how to do it yet. They still remember how to live in the moment.

How many times have you gone on a trip with your kids and they ask how much longer? Or when you are getting ready to go on vacation? All they care about is right now. Not tomorrow, not next week, now. I so envy that.

I was about 10 when my grandfather told me that a year to me, was a week to him.

That’s a profound thought. The older I get the more accurately I understand it, and the more I wish I didn’t. Most days I feel like it shouldn’t be (insert whatever month here). It can’t be time for the truck payment again. It can’t be 5 more months until Christmas. But it is. Time really isn’t going faster. There are still 24 hours a day, still 60 minutes in an hour, still 60 seconds in a minute, still 365 days in a year. Yet, ask a 5 year old and they will tell you that there are millions of seconds, billions of minutes, and trillions of hours in a day.

Am I warped? You betcha! Ok, perhaps I should rephrase the question…do I suffer from calendar warp? You betcha. I’m not the innocent 5 year old anymore. I have bills to pay, work to do, and chores to do. The work days drag and the weekends fly by. Or so I think, but I wake up and it’s the middle of July, and last week it was April.

It makes me feel old, it makes me realize how fast babies grow up, and how complicated things are compared to how complicated things were.

Maybe the kids are onto something. Maybe they remember to slow down and smell the flowers. And all we think about is watering and weeding the flowers.

I know that slowing down is definitely something that I have forgotten how to do. I spend 45 hours a week at work, at least 15-20 doing homework, plus cooking, cleaning laundry, sleeping, taking a shower. It’s a wonder I have time to go to the bathroom. My life is complicated, definitely more so than it was as a 5 year old. I have that awful “R” word. You know, responsibilities. Yeah that one.

I would love to have a different perspective, and the ability to slow down, but unfortunately life as an adult doesn’t always work that way. If I skip tonight’s study session, it will just mean that I have twice as much tomorrow to do, and that there will be one less day to work on it before it is due. I can skip the truck payment, while my bank account may appreciate that fact, I’m sure that bank that the truck is financed through won’t.

I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe I’ll find the time to stop and take a breather. To stop worrying about when the bills are due, and what day it is. Maybe it would help if I would stop wishing time away. You know, wishing it was 5pm so I could leave work already. Wishing it was Friday instead of Monday.

Ever wonder how different things would be if we didn’t have clocks and watches? If there were no way to judge time, other than the rising and the setting of the sun, do you think that our lives would be different?

I’m pretty sure that there is no cure for calendar warp. Time will keep moving forward whether I want it too or not.

I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse. I guess it all depends on whether I stop and smell the flowers, or just water them and move on.

~You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by. ~James Matthew Barrie

~Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg

~The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. ~C.S. Lewis

~Time, the cradle of hope.... Wisdom walks before it, opportunity with it, and repentance behind it: he that has made it his friend will have little to fear from his enemies, but he that has made it his enemy will have little to hope from his friends. ~Charles Caleb Colton

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hello, my name is....

Hello, my name is Abby, and I'm addicted's just so awful, I can't say it. I can't!

It's true. I know it's shocking, but think about how I felt, discovering I was an addict. It's a scary lonely feeling. One that I haven't even openly admitted to myself that there was a problem, until today. I can't hide the truth any longer.

I'm addicted.

I was avoiding doing anything productive at work, and was checking out a few of the blogs that I read today for updates. Actually for new recipes, because our menu needs some major CPR. Most of the blogs I follow are all big time bloggers. They get paid, and they are at the Blogher conference in New York City. Lucky bastards. Someday that will be me, I'll be some bigtime blogger and people will hang onto my every word and I can go spend 5 glorious days in New York City. But, until then... But I digress.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, CPR and recipes.

I was looking for something gourmet, yet not weird enough that my husband and I won't eat it. And I popped on over to Ree at The Pioneer Woman , she is giving away this absolutely gorgeous purple pot. If you wait for it, the pictures will scroll across her homepage. If you look today. If not, look at that cute little butterfly border at the bottom. Do you see it? Well, the placement of said pan and the placement of the butterflies, made me think that the pan had butterflies on it, and forget trying to win it. I was buying that puppy. So I clicked over to the giveaway area and started researching how to win it. Needless to say I was disgusted that it was missing the butterflies, but thought I would take a gander at the website that the purple pan could be found on. Oh My Goodness!!

Can we say cooking heaven? Would it be tacky to email my wish list to all my friends and family and tell them that all birthday and Christmas gifts MUST be purchased from here or they will be disowned? Maybe disowned is a little harsh, perhaps, ignored, their prescense ripped from my life forever is a little less harsh.

I started browsing, and decided I would start putting things I have no intention of purchasing today in my cart. Holy smokes batman. I'm not even halfway through and I have like, well lets just say A LOT of money in that cart. There are things that I'm amazed that I have been able to cook at all without. There are things that are just plain cool, things that are just plain wicked, and they are things that I need. They are like air, I can no longer cook properly without them. I wonder if my husband would be mad if I cleaned out our savings, checking, and maxed out several credit cards to fund this little endeavor?

I don't think he would. In fact I can guarantee that he won't mind eating ramen noodles for a few months. Or living without hot water. Those things are of a minute importance in the grand scheme of things. Right?

So let's try this one more time.

Hello, my name is Abby, and I'm addicted gadgets and gizmo's, and pots and pans, cookbooks and recipes, I do like them, Abby I am.

Now I'm off to search for recipes, hopefully I won't be distracted by purple pans with butterflies.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lost and Found

As our family moves forward this week after losing Jack, I find myself lost. At the funeral as the pastor talked less about Jack's life, I found my mind wandering. As I looked around the room, the realization, that if I live to be 86, the majority of the people in the room with me, wouldn't be there. Over the course of the next 56 years I would sit through dozens of funerals. Yes, it's a morbid thought, but it's reality. We won't live forever. Sucks doesn't it?

That doesn't sound very lost, just weird. Right? Wrong. Speaking from someone who is a full time idiot student, has a full time job, a husband, laundry, dishes, doggies, and a few friends; it's hard to find time for everything. So you get lost. You start trying to prioritize and the dishes go unwashed and the laundry piles up, while you focus on homework, or you focus on your husband and marriage and the homework and laundry pile up. So you feel overwhelmed and, well, lost.

I'm also at a cross roads with school. I want to finish so bad, and December marks a significant milestone with my associate's degree. Yet, trying to make a decision about what route to take with my bachelor's degree is proving to be more difficult than it should be. I want to have options, I don't want to be stuck with being a CPA or a corporate accountant. I want to be able to do both, not either or. I want to be able to find a job I can fit into, and right now, I don't know where I fit. I don't know if I will be the corporate guru, or if I will do something else, like CPA or forensic accounting. I don't have a clue, and realistically I don't need to have one just yet. I'll start my bachelors in January and that will take 2 (two) years to finish. Plus the extra hours so that I can take my CPA exam. Eek!!

So that leaves me at lost. I don't know where to go or what to do, and that always makes me wonder if I haven't made a mistake. I start second guessing all the decisions that brought me to this one. I start thinking about the thousands of dollars that this is costing me and then I wonder if I wouldn't have been better off without all this headache and debt. Then again, I see the house that I want and I just have to hope that this is the right path, the one that God wants me to be on, not the one I want me to be on.

And all that does, is make me even more lost.

So if you see me out wandering around, perhaps you should grab me, and hang onto me, until I find me too.

~All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

~If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing. ~Saint Augustine

~We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. ~Harrison Ford


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