Monday, September 18, 2017

Ten years of Writing

I just looked at my stats pages on this blog, and realized that I am coming up on my 10-year anniversary of posting things for the world to read.  This thing has brought more than 52 THOUSAND visits, lots of comment-love, and way too much over-sharing on my part.

Honestly, when I started writing on this blog, I never envisioned that it would go on this long, or that I would have readers all over the world (yes, I know that a LOT of those are bots...but I also know I have friends in Haiti, Thailand, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, and the UK...and probably a few others that don't show up in my Top 10.)

What began as a way to document our lives for my husband who was in another part of the country quickly turned into a therapeutic outlet for me.  I have shared from my heart, from my experiences, and from my hopes for the future.

Today, my baby is the same age my eldest was when I started.  And that eldest just got married.  A lot of life has transpired in those 10 years.

We have moved 2 more times.
3 of my kids have graduated from high school.
The oldest is 2 semesters away from graduating college.
I started and finished 2 Masters degrees.
Jason finished 3 more Masters degrees (he has 4!).
Jason spent a year in Bahrain, and six months in South Korea.
I was able to visit him in Bahrain, twice.
We have cycled through 7 more cars and 2 motorcycles.
I lost my last grandparent.
Jason served as an associate pastor for 2 years.
We survived record-breaking snowfall with little-to-no gear.
There is a lot of between-the-lines that happened....
We have dealt with crimes, and legal systems, and house sales, dramas large and small, celebrations and heartaches.

The thread woven through all of this is how God has guided, and encouraged, and carried, and provided for us every step of the way.

I can't wait to see what He has in store for our next ten years!!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Emotional Overload (aka, After the Wedding)

There are days that seem more than I can handle.
The tears are "RIGHT THERE"...
and might leak out over "nothing".
I miss my son.
I miss my daughter.
I miss the childhood I didn't have.
I miss friends living in different places.
I emote about news stories,
friends' discussions about their families,
and videos of military homecomings,
and 50-year-old dads seeing color for the first time.

This is not my "normal".
My normal has had tears suppressed
for close to 30 years.
My normal was termed a "crybaby"
for normal childhood responses...
so I learned to never let it show.

I got to where I couldn't cry if I wanted to...
or needed...
I didn't cry when my grandparents died...
of course, I also wasn't allowed a relationship with them.
Moving has not solicited tears,
nor loss, or loneliness, or fear.

I used to watch overly-done military reunion videos
to help myself process the emotions
from my husband being overseas for a year.

I don't know what to do with this overload.
I am feeling more,
and crying more,
and missing more,
and longing more.

None of this is wrong or bad.
It just IS.
I am actually glad that I can cry now.
But it is too much at once....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Recuperating and reminiscing

I am sitting here drinking a hot cup of tea and eating some leftover cucumber salad, and thinking about the last week.  I'm trying to write, and my heart is just too full.

We had guests staying with us for the whole last week, fires to put out, crises to manage, and last-minute details to attend to, as well as school for 3 kids, college classes for the bride, and work for two parents, and two kids.  It was a bit hectic and crazy, but it was AMAZING.  

So, instead of talking about it, I'm just going to put some pictures up...

Rehearsal





The brothers

Two of the sisters





Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer, 2017

What a whirlwind!!

I had NO PLANS for this summer.  It was going to be quiet, and we really were only going to concentrate on preparation for the upcoming wedding and move(s).

Heh.  When you have 4 teens living in a house, it will NEVER be quiet.

There was art....
By Leah Paxton
Pencil drawing

By Katherine Paxton
Dry erase marker on white board

By Heather Paxton
Acrylic on canvas

By Heather Paxton
Acrylic on Canvas 




























There were visits with friends and lots of good food...

Todd and Debbie...
I hadn't seen them in more than 20 years!!

A special note from special friends!

Leah and Laurel
Happily reunited for a week!

Delicious treats from Uncle Dave!


There were "see you laters"
from good friends moving away.  



There has been SHOPPING for wedding stuff....



...and accomplishments....




















....and spotting of wildlife....

Geese!
Turkeys!!
The bunny that joined the zoo
for 2 days. 
The fluffy-butt who always lives here.



























...and the beauty of God's creation!!

Flowers!!
Everywhere, flowers!!
Even in town!
So much beauty!!

I am thankful for our "quiet" summer, and looking forward to where God takes us next!

Pineshore Bible Camp
Westminster, MA

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Semper Gumby

Brain dump time.

Feeling VERY emotional right now.

We are heading into month #4 of waiting for orders.  I have ALL KINDS of feelings about this, most of which are unfit for reading.  Mostly, I just wish they'd hurry up and make a decision already, so I can *officially* get on with preparing for a move.  Because we KNOW a move is going to happen, but can't do anything really official-like until they (the Navy) tells us that they are officially actually making a decision.  Confused yet?  Me too.

Meanwhile, I have to unofficially prepare to leave my job, prepare my house to be moved across-country (or wherever they decide...), prepare the kids' school stuff, get medical records, dental records, etc....but not officially, because, you know, we don't have official orders.  Which we may have as little as 6 weeks to get it all together when that actually, officially happens.

Oh, yeah.

We're also wedding planning (eldest daughter and her fiance are doing most of this, but you know...), planning on what to leave with the two daughters who plan to stay here, including buying cars, selling cars, gather furniture....finding them places to live (anyone got any leads on CHEAPish places to rent around here, or how a newly-wed couple can get financing??).  Of course, nothing official, because we have no end-date, because the Navy can't make up their danged minds about ANYTHING.

And then....

I'm also finishing up another degree.  What was I thinking?!?  Sigh.  This week and next week, and I'll be done...and THAT has no impact whatsoever from or on the lack of official decisions.  It is just another source of stress....

So, stressed to the max...
I want to CRY.
I want to SCREAM.
I want to punch someone...not that it would make anything better....

Limbo is where I am living, and it is a terrible place to be....

Semper Gumby, y'all.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Missing

There's a weight on my chest
that no medicines
or sleep
will relieve.

There's a hole in my heart
that cannot be mended
or filled
in the normal manner.

There's an ache in my bones
unrelieved by medicines
or wraps
or anything.

There's a child that is missing,
place known
name identified,
but still missing.


Things that bug me (semi-annual post?)

I have a lot of pet peeves, apparently.

They particularly show up on Facebook.  All the time.

Like posts that talk about the wonders of beards.  Eww.
And decorating them for Christmas.  Double Ick.

And posts where people misquote Scriptures, and claim that God is some kind of perpetual genie.  NO.

Thankfully a lot of the scams and spam have (finally) been eliminated from my timeline.  (No, Mark Zuckerberg is NOT giving away money.  No, Steve Jobs didn't stipulate some kind of give-away in his will.  No, you will NOT magically come into a lot of money by sharing the posts that have (illegal) pictures of money.)

Unfortunately, there are apparently still a lot of people who are gullible, or paranoid, or some intersection of those two.

Facebook is a GREAT medium for keeping in touch with people, and a great way to network, and to educate.  I have seen it used for great good.  I have also seen people abusing the access they have to other people through this medium.

Part of that includes spamming us with their business posts.
And abusing friendships with politics.
And taking advantage of (unnaturally close) "friends of friends" who really are not friends at all.

Duck lips.  Ducks don't have lips.  Stopit.

Being unwilling to learn from others.  We all have room for growth and learning.  If you're not growing and learning, you are dying.  Be willing to grow and learn from people who are different from you.  Everyone has something they can teach you.  (Sometimes it is what NOT to do!)

Passive-aggressive complaints on Facebook.
Passive-aggressive posts based on guilt-manipulation. ("I know MY friends will repost this..."  I have a flag for that with a two-letter name....STOPIT!!)
Guilt-manipulation in general.  It WILL backfire on you.  DON'T DO IT.

Paranoia. People who stir up paranoia.
Idolatry in the name of Christianity.
Alleged humor at the expense of others.  It's NOT funny.
Fake news.  People who don't check out the articles they post and insist on spreading fake news.

Enough for now.  Yes, I know this sounds petty, and passive-aggressive.  I am not singling anyone out.  If the shoe fits, wear it.  Remove the log from your eye....and then come help me with my splinters...I need the help.