Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wife of the Year

My poor husband. Why he puts up with me is something I'll never know. He woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and headed for the mountains where he slaved on putting up gutters, then turned around and drove 3 hours to get home. He was really tired. It was a long day for him. I'm sure he was looking forward to getting home to his loving wife and eating a great home cooked meal.

In the mean time, I was getting pampered at the beauty shop, having my red hair applied and let me tell you, I love getting my hair done. It's the only time I forget about everything but myself. Apparently I really was enjoying myself because by the time I headed home it was 7pm.

When I got in the door, I was so glad my sweet obedient daughters had put potatoes in the oven. I had not thought much beyond baked potatoes so I rummaged around the fridge, while Wayne and the girls watched with saliva running down their chins. I managed to find a bag of cabbage, so I tried to get them excited about baked potatoes and coleslaw. What do you mean what else? that's it... I offered to warm up some frozen meatballs. No one was very impressed.

OK, so we ended up with naked potatoes that were a wee bit undercooked in the middle. I covered them with chili and cheese, hoping to disguise their firmness. As my sweet husband gagged down the rock hard potatoes and coleslaw, he never said a word. I tried to find redemption with homemade brownies and a big glass of cold milk. I don't think he's holding it against me. I hear him in the living room laughing at the antics of the Duggar family on TLC. Tomorrow is another day, we are going to Carraba's with friends, He'll get a great meal.
In the mean time, my hair looks stunning!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This week I've been reading.......

I've never read anything by John Ortberg, but so far I'm impressed. I like his straight forward approach and easy style. This book happens to be timely for me right now. It deals with the status quo christian and how we are missing out. I'm only on chapter 3 but here's my favorite quote:

"You can take each moment and say, 'God, this is yours." You can offer him your spiritual giftedness- not compared with anyone else- as fully honed and developed as you can get it, identified with pristine clarity, cultivated with relentless perseverance, deployed with unstoppable vigor, submitted with sacrificial humility, and celebrated with raucous joy." John Ortberg, p. 51

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My mama used to say......

.... one in the hand's worth two in the bush.
.....this too shall pass.
.....pretty is as pretty does.
.....sufficient for the day, is the evil thereof.
......your father's gonna be upset.'ve got a bad attitude.'s not about you.
.....I'm gonna pinch your head off. you want a spankin'?

What did your mama used to say?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Is the drought over?

Have you ever been in the middle of a drought? I'm not talking about lack of rain, I'm talking about a spiritual drought. You know, when you feel, not unloved by God, but feel like you are not , for whatever reason, able to feel Him close to you. The last year has been a really trying time for our church, and for me personally. I felt like although I knew He was there, and still was speaking to me, everything around me seem to be dry. No spontaneous outpouring of joy. To be honest, it was hard work just to hang in there. So many times, I just wanted to stay home and watch TV. Sometimes I did. Other times I felt so frustrated that I was in this desert place and despite my best efforts didn't seem to be finding any oasis.

Today was a drenching rain. Today, my spirit opened up and received a soaking of the Spirit. My heart saw the stirrings of a great thing that is beginning among my church family. Maybe the drought is over. Following has been hard when you are in waiting mode. Trusting that God would bring rain in His time is sometimes frustrating. Tonight, I looked around at people that I love. I saw them laughing, hugging, talking. I smiled when I thought of what God has for us....and it felt like raindrops....maybe the drought is over.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm tired.....

We went to eat a Cracker Barrel tonight, and on the way home I commented that I felt really tired. Wayne then commented that that was the 10th time I had made that statement this since we left home.
Well, excuse me Mr. Energy Pants. It just so happens I am tired because..........

.......I woke up at stinkin 6:30 in the morning to have yard sale.
.......I played a ridiculous game of copycat in the pool with Lauren and Christine last night.
.......I've been having middle of the night insomnia. You know when you wake up at 4 am and think about everything in the world and never really go back to sleep until the alarm goes off.
........I've run more in the last 25 days than I have in the last year. All a part of my 3 miles a day for 30 day plan to jump start my running.
........I'm 40, not 20.
Having said that, I'm taking a Tylenol pm and heading to bed at 8:30. It's not even dark outside yet, but I'm yawning as I type this line.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Soul Talk

You do not have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fresh from heaven

My grandma used to say that babies were fresh from heaven. While this is probably not the most doctrinally sound statement, it describes the feeling you get when you hold a brand new baby in your arms.

Last night, we visited Hollie and Alan, but most importantly---- baby Rowan.
Welcome to our world Rowan, we're glad you made it here safe and sound!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last night, I was glancing through a magazine and saw this picture of Dara Torres. I showed it to Wayne and said " Look at her fantastic body! I would love to look like that."
He said, "Gross, why would you want to look like her?"
"Are you kidding me? Look at her arms and abs?"
"No man likes that. I like for a woman to look, oh I don't know, soft."
I love that man! I may not have 6 pack abs, but soft? Yeah I can do soft.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Does it really matter?

Whatever you think today....ask yourself...does it really matter?

In the grand scheme of life, in the big picture, is this worth me losing sleep over, fretting over or getting upset about?

From God's perspective, is this worth it, or should I let it go?

Will it make a difference one way or another, or will I just waste energy?

If it's worth it, stand, fight, cry, scream. If there are bigger things to worry about, let it go, and go on.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hot date?

If your spouse, significant other, etc. planned a hot date for you.......where would he/she take you? What would his/her idea of romance be? Would it be different from your definition, or have you been together long enough that you could totally feel love because you know them so well?

Wayne Welch would take me to eat dinner somewhere that served red meat......He thinks that is the definition of fine dining. After dinner, he would take me to the movies, since he was planning a hot date, he'd suffer through a chick flick for me, buy me peanut M&M's and a diet coke,and hold my hand. I love that man!

If you asked me 17 years ago, it probably would have involved hot dogs and NASCAR......I was to shallow to appreciate the depth of his love at that point. We've grown alot!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

nothing like a good cleansing cry

Anyone that really knows me, knows I am not a bit inhibited to cry. I cry when I'm happy, I cry when I'm sad, I cry when I'm frustrated or mad. Pretty much any reason that comes along can induce tears from me. I own it, I stop trying to fight it years ago, I now I welcome the cleansing feeling that a good cry brings.

Wayne has no idea how good it feels. Because of course, I've only seen him cry three times. He doesn't know what he's missing.

I really wish I had a beautiful cry. I would love to look like Liv Tyler in "Armageddon" when she talks to her dad just before he goes into orbit and is frozen in minus 100 degrees. Remember? A solitary tear streams down her face? Instead, I sound like a seal. Yeah, that's right a barking seal. When I talk and cry you can barely make out the words, and they all have that sharp high pitched ring to them. I used to think that I probably sounded elegant. Maybe like Julia Roberts. Wayne crashed that image when he lovingly advised me just before I walked on stage at church to share a heart felt testimony. " Hey don't try to talk and cry, you sound like a seal."
OK thanks babe.

I really don't care what I look like or sound like, because I know what it feels like. I carried tears around behind my eyes all day. They had been trying to fall since I woke up. You know, no reason or every reason? My friend Heather called me tonight, and 5 seconds into the conversation, it felt like a pretty good time to let it go. Ahhh, nothing like a good cathartic cry. The best part is, she totally gets it, and I didn't even have to explain. She never said " Steph, I can't understand what you are saying, you sound like a seal." No, she just let me cry and when I was done I never felt like I had to explain or apologize. I have several good friends who I can cry with. I hope you do to. It's good for you!


Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake.
Psalms 79:9
When you ask for God for deliverance, don't question His methods or means.
Hold on tight, 'cause sometimes it's a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

seven letter word for........

My summer has been reduced to a daily crossword challenge. Here at student heath I reap the rewards of a very busy school year, by having a very slow work environment for June and July. I really enjoy it in June, but by July, my ADD brain is struggling to make it through an 8 hour work day with such a light workload. This year, the new NP, Leah and I have decided that wasting time on the Internet is not nearly as productive to our brain cells as doing the daily crossword puzzle.

Before Leah got me hooked on crosswords, my idea of challenging was People's CW in the back page. The most difficult stumper was along the lines of:

Three letter word for "Heartbreaker" singer Benatar. If you answered "Pat" you are a winner!

I have graduated on to the daily Union Recorder. The obsession started small, I would casually glance thought the classifieds to find the puzzle on the back page. I realized things had gotten serious when I was lounging poolside with a folded up newspaper working on Nashville's Daily News puzzle during my vacation. I used to enjoy mindless drivel as a vacation read, but here I am doing crosswords! Last week I even picked up a puzzle book and browsed through it instead of my weekly peek and "Entertainment Weekly".

Today Leah brings in the New York Times. This thing is huge! It will take me all day and the excitement is palpable. If I finish by lunch, I may talk her into a round of shuffleboard!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It really was a great weekend....

Are you like me and live for the weekend? Is it just me or does your week seem to be a countdown until Friday at 5pm?

This weekend did not disappoint:
Friday night was the first time in a long time that both girls were home. Wayne loaded us up and took his three favorite girls to their favorite restaurant: Carrabas! We had such a great time. In a house full of women, there aren't too many days where our hormones are all in synch and we are in a fantastic mood at the same time. Friday night was one of those times and we laughed, enjoyed good food and let ourselves be teased by the man of the house. He took me to Dillards where I exchanged a ridiculous pair of shoes I bought last week. You would think that by this time I would be over the whole debate with myself about heels. Vanity won the battle, but comfort won the war. Took em back got a pair of sandals instead.

Saturday Wayne woke me up early and after coffee (for me) we headed out to Greensboro while the girls still snoozed. We spent a couple hours at the thrift shops, and habitat for humanity store. Even stopped at a few yard sales. He bought me an outside light, hanging basket, and that was really about all. We had lots of fun, and talked about what we are going to do in the back yard, now that the pool has bit the dust. Is it just a ridiculous fantasy of mine that I'll ever have a garden? Is that possible in the middle of the deer plantation I live on? Which reminds me, a doe and her baby are living in the front yard.(woods) Saw them tonight when we left for church.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning house then ran a long 4 mile run Wayne grilled out for us, and I finished the night by making him a huge lemon pound cake.

Today, Sunday was great. I love my Sunday School class! We had such a great time this morning! Seriously, I wonder why they come back every week! After church, we came home and I took a 2 hour nap. Ahhh, now I won't sleep tonight, but I squeezed every drop of goodness out of this weekend.
Tomorrow is Monday and I'm gonna try a new attitude. I can't wait to see what adventures await me tomorrow, the beginning of my new work week. Yeah I'm not feeling it but I'm gonna try!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Come run with me

This is the tenth day in a row that I have run. I have a love/ hate relationship with running. I love it when I'm doing it. I hate it when I'm out of shape and know I need to. I needed a jump start to get back to it. I have not run at all since I've had gallbladder issues then surgery, so two weeks ago I pulled out an old trick I've used before, 3 miles for 30 days. It's working so far, and actually today I was looking forward to running.

I love running for alot of reasons, I tell my friends it's because I'm getting old and I need to keep my heart healthy. They smile and nod, who am I kidding? They know I'm trying to fight middle age spread like everyone else. Running gives me solitude, and lets me process so many thoughts in my head. I do my best problem solving, anger resolving, and planning when I'm hitting the road.

Come with me today and see why I love it so much:

Good! My favorite shorts are clean! I pull them on and tell myself that I look sleek and lean in these black shorts. They don't ride up my thighs and that is essential if you want to get past mile 2. I head down the drive and try and try and find a place on my ipod to stop. What am I the mood for today? I stop on Journey. Oh yeah that'll work. I want to go 4 miles today and something mellow will help me take it slow.

It takes me about half a mile to get in the rhythm. First I have to work passed the heavy breathing and stiff legs, but soon, just as I head down the hill, I find my rhythm and now I can just let my mind drift. Today I think about my conversation with a good friend yesterday, who was having a hard time and I mentally try different solutions to her problem until I find one that seems to fit. Note to her tonight.
I come around the curve and stop thinking, I tell myself not to be scared. I know that the bulldog at this house is on a chain, but he scares me every time as he lunges on the chain with teeth bared. "God don't let him get loose", my daily prayer at this point. God again holds onto the ugly mutt and I pick up my pace a little. I start to think about supper when I smell the neighbors cooking steaks. Mmmmm. They wave. I wave back. My left calf feels crampy. I gotta remember to stretch today. I look up, this is one of my favorite spots in my run. There are three horses that live in this pasture. They always look up at me. They seem to wonder, "Where are you going in such a rush?" This is where I like to stop and walk for a minute. Stretch out my leg cramp and watch them flip their tails. The white one, my favorite prances up to the fence and I smile at her. She never gets close enough to pet. Doesn't trust me that much. My cramp is gone and I head up the road. I've finished 2.5 miles. Mi ipod is belting out "Open Arms" and I smile. I love that song. I can see three girls in a maroon Ford Granada, cruising down Main Street and singing at the top of our lungs. We thought we know all about love way back then. we didn't know squat.
That thought flies out of my mind as I feel the wet nudge of my friend "big brown boy" That's what I call him anyway. This part of the run, the big chocolate lab at the yellow house on the left, always runs out, licks my hand and jogs along for about half a mile. I ask him how his day's been, how many squirrels he's chased, and if he's jumped in the lake. He turns his attention to the kids, playing on the dock. I hear them laughing and shoving each other in the lake. That reminds me how thirsty I am and how heavy my cotton t shirt feels now that it's soaked in sweat.
I round the curve and head home. The last half mile is easy. My leg isn't cramping anymore. My legs feel like lead, and my hair is soaked. I love the wore out feeling. I think about how thankful I am that I can run. I think about how many 40 year old women are in worse shape than I am. I think about that candy bar I ate on the way home from Walmart. Hope I worked it all off. I think about how exhausted 4 miles just made me and what a stretch it would be to ever run a marathon, my ultimate goal. I look up and see Wayne on the deck, grilling our supper. He sees me and smiles and says "Go take a shower, you stink!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Class of 2011

It did not hit me until today. That little red headed baby I brought home from the hospital 16 years ago, is going to grow up and leave home. I didn't think about it much when she started middle school, still so far away. When she got her braces off, I couldn't believe how much older she looked, but I didn't realize she was growing up. When we bought her a car last year, I wasn't too worried, she still had a whole year before she could drive. When her Dad called me and told me she passed her driver's test I didn't stop smiling the entire day. When she announced she was ready to find a job, and she filled out an application all by herself I was so proud of her.

But today........I paid for her class ring and suddenly it dawned on me. Grown girls wear class rings. Class rings mean that you will soon graduate from high school. Class rings are the things high school memories are made of. *Gulp* *tear* It won't be much longer will it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's all about tradeoffs...

Sometimes, now that I'm middle aged, I miss so much having sweet little babies around the house. I miss those sweet feet, baby breath and toothless smiles. I miss kissing the sweet spot in their necks. I miss hearing them yell "Daddy's home" and run to door to collect kisses from him. I miss smashed flowers offered up from sweaty hands.
But life I've learned is all about seasons. You could call it trade offs. Those days are gone, but when I had babies in my arms I didn't experience........

a date night with my husband on a weeknight. Wayne took me to the movies and dinner tonight. We had uninterrupted conversation at dinner, he even held my hand. He asked me about my day, and told me about his. It was all about us. Nice.

time to run every night. It's nice to have time at night to run. Just me and my ipod. I do my best problem solving when I run. These days I can get up early and get it done, or leave a noisy house and run in the quiet by myself.

sending my newly licensed daughter on errands. Don't feel like battling Walmart? No problem, send the girls. Oh by the way, drop your sister off at the orthodontist and stop by the library. I'll be taking a long hot bath.

the freedom that comes from knowing I NEVER do the dishes anymore. I don't even rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. No, that job belongs to two other people at my house.

the fun of all day shopping adventures. No worries about naps, they can go as long as me now.

Sure, I miss having babies, but you know what? This new season in my life rocks! I enjoyed every part of the young years, and I fully expect to enjoy grand babies. For today, I don't want to look back or look forward, but just live in today. Thankful for where God has brought me for this short time. After years of pouring yourself out, He lets you have a little back, and it's nice!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Kathy

Today is your day!
you are the big 4-0
(plus or minus a few, but I'll never tell)
wink wink!
your little sister

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let it rain

Right now I am sitting here and listening to the rain fall, The window is open and I can smell the rain. It reminds me of when I was a little girl. We lived in a small house that had a big bedroom that my little sister and I shared. We had no air conditioning in the summer besides a window unit, but we did have an old attic fan. At night, we opened the windows and the attic fan would cool us down. In the middle of a July summer night, the curtains would billow out over us as we lay in our beds while the attic fan whirled. The sound would nudge us into sleep,and when it rained the sound of rain on a rooftop would make our journey to sleep land come all the quicker. To a little girl, perfect contentment comes in the form of a gentle breeze, cotton nightgowns and the smell of rain. Today perfect contentment is sitting on the porch swing next to Wayne, watching the lightening and smelling the rain coming.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Freedom Day

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery!
Gal. 5:1

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goodwill loot

Well, today was the perfect day! I took the day off. Slept in until 8am. Then got up and ran 3 miles. I am trying to motivate myself, so I am really trying to run at least 3 miles every day for 30 days. (You can follow my progress on FB) When I got back I pulled my lazy girls out of bed and off we went to our favorite shopping destination: Goodwill and Salvation Army. Inherited the bargain gene from my mother who can size up a yard sale in 10 seconds. My girls are as in love with a bargain as I am. They were raised with the phrase "You can get it if its on sale" burned into their psyche. Maybe that's why they love thrift store shopping. I usually get them whatever they find.
After scouring through the racks we hit the motherload! Now it is absolutely essential to have a game plan at Goodwill or you will get completely overwhelmed with the mass of junk. We were on a mission for jeans and khakis. you can always get the wardrobe staples in mint condition at GW.
For $20 bucks we scored:
J Jill bag (with tags)
Sevens jeans
Banana Republic blouse
Eddie Bauer khaki crop pants
Couple pairs of shorts for the girls
2 records for Leslie
Dress for Ginny

Very productive day. I am laughing as I write this post.... I am so much like my mother. She is never content just to tell you what she found at a yard sale/thrift shop. She must also tell you the name brand and how much she paid for it. I guess I am my mom made over!

Now all our treasures are being washed (disinfected on hot) and we are getting ready to dig into a pile of nachos! Hope your Thursday was as fun as mine!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It doesn't cost a dime to own it.....

but I'd rather have it than a million dollars..........

.........peace of mind.
.........hearing my girls laugh while washing dishes.
.........Wayne's sweet kisses
.........God's approval.

What about you? Fill in the blank...........

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