Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Drunkard's Cry

In my present emotional turmoil, this song brings tears to my eyes. God's grace is never ending. Enough said.

Better Than A Hallelujah
~ Amy Grant

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Virtual Prom

Last month, I stumbled upon a concept that I thought was just wonderful. It's called Mom Sexy! The Mommyologist made the following statements and issued a pledge over Memorial Day:

"Because I am one sexy mama. And being sexy is not about looking perfect in a bathing suit. Being sexy is about SELF-ACCEPTANCE. In honor of Memorial Day weekend, I am taking a pledge to refrain from making one negative comment about the way I look in a bathing suit, shorts, or any other piece of clothing for that matter. And I would like to challenge all of you to do the same, starting today. For this entire long weekend, every single time that you feel a negative thought popping up about the way you look, I want you to replace it with the following statement: “I 'Mom Sexy', and I am PROUD!”
Well, I thought this was one of the grandest ideas! My body has weathered three pregnancies and one gastric bypass surgery. I am often guilty of making negative comments about my body, so I am taking the pledge for the rest of this weekend.

As I looked into it, I think Mrs. Mommyologist started something big cause Mamas all over the blogosphere chimed in with different ways to feel "Mom Sexy". One mom even sent in a picture of herself in her favorite dress! An idea was born: have women all over the World Wide Web send in photos of themselves all dolled up for a virtual prom!
To see photos of everyone dolled up for the virtual prom, please click here. It's so awesome!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My life is . . .

is totally and utterly crazy. In trying to prepare myself for all the mental aerobics that have been ensuing due to my participation in the PHP program, I have felt unskilled. BIG. TIME. My mind aches like never before and all my emotions feel raw and fragile.

Yet, even through all this busy-ness, I still feel extremely blessed. There have been a million times where I catch myself thinking, "This experience / phase in my life journey will either make me invincible or break me."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trivial Thursday

1) What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
"Oh, The Places You'll Go" or "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins"

2) If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be?
I love Dawson Leery's home from the Dawson's Creek series of the 1990's.

3) What's the longest you've gone without sleep?
I don't know the actual number of hours or days... There are times as a parent that it feels like MONTHS on end.

4) What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?
I'm not a fan of Mr. Manilow. I guess I don't know which song I loathe the least.

5) Who's your favorite Muppet?
Swedish Chef - Love him!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Road to Wellness

Because of a bad decision or two, I am attending an extremely intensive three-week mental health program.

The Minnesota Department of Health's website describes a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) as "a time limited, structured program of psychotherapy and other therapeutic services and provided in an outpatient hospital facility or community mental health center. The goal of PHP is to resolve, or stabilize, an acute episode of mental illness. PHP includes intensive therapeutic services provided by a multi-disciplinary staff to treat the recipient's mental illness. Examples of PHP services include: individual, group, and family psychotherapy services; individualized activity therapies; and patient training and education. Recipients are admitted to a partial hospitalization program based on a physician referral."

* * * * *

To date, I have attended approximately 10 days of the 15-day program. It is reminding me of long ago forgotten, healthy coping skills, identify my distorted thinking patterns, become aware of my negative self-talk and replace the negative thoughts with positive or healthy behaviors/though patterns. Sometimes self-doubt creeps back in to my floundering brain, then I begin feeling foolish for needing assistance regulating my emotions. SIGH!

I am tired.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Give A Damn's Busted

Some days I think my motto could be:

My GIVE-A-DAMN'S broken!

However, it's not usually in my nature to be that sarcastic or un-empathetic. I don't particularly like this song and it doesn't really hold my attention but I just love the title (and some of the lyrics.)

My Give A Damn's Broken
~ Jo Dee Messina

Well, you filled up my head with so many lies.
You twisted my heart till somethin' snapped inside.
I'd like to give it one more try,
But my give-a-damn's busted.

You can crawl back home, say you were wrong;
Stand out in the yard and cry all night long.
Well, go ahead and water the lawn:
My give-a-damn's busted.

I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:.
No, sorry: nothin'.

You can say you've got issues, you can say you're a victim.
It's all your parents fault, after all you didn't pick 'em.
Maybe somebody else has got time to listen:
My give-a-damn's busted.

Well, your therapist says it was all a mistake:
A product of the Prozac an' your co-dependent ways.
So who's your neighbor these days?
My give-a-damn's busted.

I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:.
No, still nothin'.

It's a desperate situation, no tellin' what you'll do.
If I don't forgive you, you say your life is through.
C'mon, gimme somethin' I can use:
My give-a-damn's busted.

Well, I really wanna care.
I wanna feel somethin'.
Let me dig a little deeper:
No, I'm sorry.
Just nothin', you know.
You've really done it this time, ha, ha.
My give-a-damn's busted.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Little Things

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in late April about the little things our spouses do that drive us crazy and how those irritants can wreck a marriage - if we let them. Let’s face it: we’re all guilty of at least a handful of habits that our spouses would banish if they could, and learning how to live with them, adjust to them or work around them proves that growing up never really ends.

(Right, honey? Yes, I know it takes me a million words to say what only needs five words and I occassionally ramble on and on and on forever but, I said I’m working on that. Are you listening? Honey? Just grunt if you hear me? Honey? HONEY?! Answer me, dammit!)

Oh. Sorry. Anyhow...

As parents, we are forever caught up in the frenzy of raising our children -- making sure everybody eats, wears clean clothes (or any clothes some days), gets where they need to be, completes their homework, survives the 1,001 daily dramas. That’s how it should be! But we need to pay a little attention to our marriages, too, so that we can separate the big stuff from the small stuff and remind ourselves why we married our spouses in the first place. After all, if it weren’t for them, most of us never would have gotten into these parenting messes -- I mean wonderlands -- in the first place, right?

Read the article. It’s interesting.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Because I Said So

Father's Day celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society and is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in at least 55 countries.

In honor of all of the fabulous, fantastic, energetic, hard-working Dads out there, here are a few "Dadisms" and kernels of truth that I've been privy to.

* I'm not sleeping. I'm just resting my eyes.
* Don't ask me. Go ask your mother.
* A little dirt never hurt anyone.
* Because I said so!
* Do I look like a bank?
* Money doesn't grow on trees.
* If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. Don't...
* Who said life was fair? Not me!
* I'm not talking just to hear my own voice!
* Stop crying or I'll give you a reason to cry.
* You're only young once.
* You're gonna like it, whether you like it or not!
* Well! If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?
* What did I just get done telling you NOT to do?
* What do you think this is, your birthday? (Ummm... yes! It was my birthday!)
* Don't make me stop this car!
* What part of NO don't you understand?
* I don't care what other people are doing! I'm not everybody else's father!
* Two wrongs do not make a right.
* Don't use that tone with me!
* Am I talking to a brick wall?
* If I catch you doing that one more time, I'll...
* Were you born in a barn?!

P.S. Do you know the history of Father's Day in the United States? I didn't and found the below info somewhat interesting. (My biggest question is -- WHY did it take over 60 years to officially recognize Father's Day?)

The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. After listening to a church sermon in 1909 about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd felt strongly that fatherhood needed recognition too. She wanted a celebration that honored fathers like hers -- William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child.

It took over 60 years to make the holiday official. In 1913, a bill recognizing Father's Day as an official holiday was introduced in Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents." In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, in 1972, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It is my precious H's birthday today. She turns six and is such a joy! Her exuberance and zeal are always contagious. I adore her smiles, hugs, and silly antics.

I love you, H!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trivial Thursday

1) Ever poop in the woods?
I'm a total weirdo about pooping. I only want to do it at home. And not when anyone is around! But since I have been camping in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area for over a week (plus many other camping trips), I think I have had to compromise on that personal policy.

2) If you won $1,000, what's the first thing you would do with it besides give me a cut?
Pay bills (boring, I know) and then go buy some scrapbook stuff that I truly don't need but totally want.

3) What's your favorite phrase?
"Holy Hannah" or "Seriously?!"

4) Fill in the blank: "The world would be a better place if ______."
The world would be a better place if I was eating Benihana's right now.

5) How do you take your coffee or tea?
I don't do coffee or tea. Wish I did, but I don't. Closest I get is Chai Tea, which I adore! Iced or hot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Props to Backup Love

It's very unfortunate when our beloved computers/laptops get viruses. MyOwnPlace's blog provides a post with fabulous steps to take to create a back-up.

Last weekend, DH was randomly surfing on my beloved Dell Laptop and acquired a pesky virus. It got into the operating system and wiped out the restore points and evaded any of the malware or adaware virus scanners that I used to get rid of it. My bad for not having a backup, so it took a few days and lots of loading and copying stuff back and forth between hard drives to get it fixed. I am happy to report that it is once again clean and functional. I thought I would take this opportunity to share my experience with you so you can avoid the grief of losing a laptop.

* Do you have your computer backed up onto an external hard drive? I'm betting not, most people don't. The tricky thing is to have a backup image of say a 40GB hard drive is that you need at least that much available space on another drive somewhere. I lucked out in that I had replaced my 40GB laptop drive back in January 2008, with a new 80GB hard drive. I still had the 40 GB sitting around as a backup.

* Do you let people use your computer who surf youtube.com, or porn or other games, or download stuff to play with? Do you let people use your computer who don't really know when they've just got a virus? If you do, you need to set up another user profile for them to use. Just go to control panel, click users, and set up a user for them WITHOUT administrator rights. This way if they screw up and get viruses, you can just delete the profile. Their profile won't let them download programs and install software that will affect the operating system of your computer.
Do you have a recent RESTORE POINT on your computer you can go back to if you get a virus? You can set one up before you are going to do something that may be risky for your PC, and if it screws something up, you can just go back to your restore point. Just go to Start button, click Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. It will show you the most recent restore point, but you can go back farther if you're not sure when your PC was infected.

* Do you have a bootable software program like Acronis True Image that will allow you to re-image or recover your backup onto your hard drive? They are inexpensive programs and you can often get them for free after rebate from Staples, Office Depot or other office supply retailer like Amazon. This is the software I used on my laptop. I had to re-insert my old 40 GB drive in the laptop, boot up the Acronis CD and then it imaged my 40 GB onto the 300 GB external hard drive I had plugged into the laptop via USB. Then I just removed the good 40GB drive, replaced it with the bad 80GB, and re--imaged the copy from the external drive onto the 80GB. It was good to go, except it needed 70 Windows Updates from the last 2 years to get XP up to date. I also had to reinstall my new printers since then.

All these are critical to recovering your computer after an infection. Don't you love your computer, don't you want to keep it healthy and treat it well when its sick?

* * * * *

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I feel like drinking (but don't go getting all freaky with me! I'm not drinking right now! While in the depression recovery program, all participants make a promise to abstain from all alcohol, drugs, etc -- not that I've ever done drugs...) So in honor of Tuesdays Tunes, let's enjoy "Mas Tequila" by Sammy Hagar.

Mas Tequila
~ Sammy Hagar

All right now, here we go
Now we're gonna tell you a little story
About the way we like to party, take ya on a trip!
Hit it! That's right

I'm goin' way down south where the big blue agave grow
Takin' a weekend trip down to Baja, Mexico!
Where you can drink the water, but don't ya eat the ice
Take your vitamin T with salt and lemon slice

I say, one shot! Hey! Mas Tequila
Two shots! Hey! Hey! Que veneno
Three shots! Hey! Arriba! Hey! Hey! Hey! Mas Tequila!

She did a mean macarena to the funky cold Medina
Behind a body shot and three margaritas
She'll drink it straight from the bottle, terra cotta jug
From a boda bag coppin' a major buzz

I say, one shot! Hey! Mas Tequila
Two shots! Hey! Hey! Que veneno
Three shots! Hey! Arriba! Hey! Hey! Hey! Mas Tequila!

Uno mas, bartender, one more, mas tequila!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

Yeah, can drink the water, but don't ya eat the ice
Take your vitamin T with salt 'n lemon slice!

I say, one shot! Hey! Mas Tequila
Two shots! Hey! Hey! Que veneno
Three shots! Hey! Arriba! Hey! Hey! Hey! Mas Tequila!

One shot! Hey! More tequila!
Two shots! Hey! Hey! Que veneno
Three shots! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey! Mas Tequila!

No mas, no mas

Monday, June 14, 2010


Are you ever surprised by the person you have become? Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering who you are? Have you reached a point in your life where you do not recognize who you are? Maybe your balance has been lost?

Who are you?

If you are like me and can’t answer that question, you may not have a clear idea of your own identity. I have been told that having a clear picture of who you are is essential to maintaining healthy relationships, healthy self-confidence and continued individual growth. Knowing yourself inside and out, AND LOVING YOURSELF, brings about an amazing feeling of self-satisfaction -- or so I am told!

If you have ideas about how to discover who you are, I would greatly appreciate your input. I know there are a million self-help books out there and I have borrowed several from the library but I am interested in your personal experiences and feedback.

Saturday, June 12, 2010



The new Twilight movie is coming out shortly -- Wednesday, June 30, to be exact. I so love those movies. Well, okay, honestly the movies are super great but I loved the books.

I am still a Jacob fan. Edward is nice and all, but he's so chauvinist and patronizing. I can't stand how controlling he is! Plus, that whole pale, chalk-white skin thing is so NOT hot. Jacob rocks with the darker, warm skin and those eyes! Love his eyes!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trivial Thursday

1) How much would you have to be paid to eat a human cadaver's finger?
I don't think I could ever do it. Not ever. I mean I like money. No -- correction -- I LOVE money, but I just can't even stomach the thought. Since I couldn't do it, I'd have that man I live with do it - cause I want a million dollars.

2) Describe the worst physical fight you've ever been in.
I hate violence. I can honestly say that I have never truly been in a severe physical confrontation. When I was in 9th grade, my sister (whose 11 months younger than me) was freaking out and slapped me. We were about the same size (barely 100 pounds dripping wet) and the only way I could restraint her was to finally wrestle her to the ground in the middle of our living room and sit on her. She was spitting tacks because she was so angry. She kept goading me to hit her, like she had hit me. I was so pissed off that I hauled off and punched her in the jaw. I instantly felt horrendous and let her up.

For the record... do NOT punch someone and then let them up. You are guaranteed to get a good arse whooping!

3) Name one song that if you never heard it ever again, you'd be thrilled.
Richard Marx "Right Here Waiting for You"

4) What's your biggest regret?
I don't like to have regrets. But I'll say that currently my biggest regret is not finishing college. I value education and wish I had more official pieces of paper to reflect that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Johnny Cash

~ Johnny Cash

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Monday, June 7, 2010

Too Long

Great quote that I am trying to believe in...

"Depression is not a sign of weakness,
but a sign of someone who has tried
to be too strong for too long."

~ Author Unknown

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6 1996

I graduated high school exactly 14 years ago today.
That is a frightening thought.

Am I really THAT OLD?!

(Freshman year. Senior prom with my boyfriend -- who was obviously the senior.)

Don't get me wrong!
I am NOT willing to go back to high school and
experience all of those good ol' glory days again, but...

14 years out of high school?

Holy Halibut!

Halloween party -- french maid & butler. Sophomore year. October 1993

Sadie Hawkins Dance. Junior year. November 1994.
L-R: Me, my sister, my sis-in-law (yep, my husband is brothers with my HS best friends husband), bestest friend ever

14 Years Ago! June 6, 1996
Senior All-Night Party after graduation ceremony

June 1996. Picture taken at my graduation party.

P.S. For those of you still working on the math, I graduated in 1996...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mental Illness

I have lost several important people in my life to suicide.

Losing someone close to you to suicide is something only those who have experienced it first hand can really understand. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about what events lead to the suicide. There is always more than enough blame to go around, not to mention the deep self doubt that maybe, the survivors could have or should have done or said something to change the end result.

No one is to blame. Let me state it again: I want to be clear -- no one is to blame for another person's suicide or suicide attempt. Suicide is the end result of mental illness. Whether the illness was long-term or short-term, at the time of suicide, a thought disorder was present.

Click here for a suicide fact sheet. Additional information about suicide and depression is available through SAVE's website.

If you are thinking about suicide, please click here or here or here or here or here for help.

Or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you. It's CONFIDENTIAL and FREE!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Failed Attempt - Lots of Pills

Many of us have been told, “Your problems aren’t that bad. They don’t add up to suicide,” or, “If you only took 15 pills, you weren’t really serious.”

Unfortunately, I was serious.

Last weekend, I swallowed pills. LOTS OF PILLS. As I laid in bed, I began to reconsider my actions. I stumbled downstairs and attempted to wake my sleeping husband. I said, "I think I made a bad decision." He was quite groggy and I wasn't sure if he heard me, so I shook his shoulder and said, "I may need to go to the doctor. I just swallowed a couple of pills."

Husband jumped up from the couch and went into serious panic mode. By this time I was feeling very light headed and tired. The room was spinning in pleasant circles and I was relaxed. I remember laying down on the couch and slurring, "You know what? I think it's going to be okay. I am just going to sleep for a while."

After that, my memory of the next 48 hours is sketchy at best. I have been told that Husband called my mom, who came over to our house. Since I was barely coherent, Husband carried me to my mom's car and stuffed me inside. Mom drove me to the hospital where I was whisked into the ER for evaluation.

I was committed to the "behavioral health ward" for observation and treatment. I have just returned home from the hospital and here begins the journey towards wellness...

Why did you want to take your own life?

This question is probably the hardest to answer. My problems at the time seemed insignificant, so I would brush them aside and hope they would go away. I guess I was in denial that by brushing them aside, instead of confronting them, I was merely storing my problems in a little box in my brain -- and one day that little box would become full and explode.

Deep down, I don’t think I really wanted to take my own life. I wanted people to see that I had problems. I didn’t have the courage to simply put my hand up and say "I don't know what to do anymore."

I thought to myself: How can I possibly go up to someone and say, ‘I’ve got lots of problems emotionally and I think I’m going to kill myself because of them’? I was embarrassed. I certainly didn’t want people saying that I had psychiatric problems.

At the threshold of suicide, I sought to understand the extreme limits of my ability and willingness to endure my emotional anguish and still remain alive.

There is "a realm of experience that is ruinous, where ceaseless pain suffocates the spirit and consumes the will to live". These are the moments when one begins to consider the possibility of a suicide attempt. Faced with all of the feelings, thoughts, and actions...

Suicide attempts cannot be understood by isolating any one moment in time that leads up to "the event". An important question emerges: What frightful clash of internal and external forces could cause a person to consider self-annihilation a feasible and reasonable option? What abandonment of hope could challenge my basic innate instincts toward self-preservation?

The story of suicide begins with the feeling of an unbridgeable sense of alienation, and a deep need to hide your pain. Withdrawal begins and then deepens -- gradually, almost imperceptibly. Eventually, the person who was once there is no longer present... she only goes through the motions of living. Hiding behind a facade, feeling isolated, and vulnerable to the urgings of suicidal thoughts. When left unchecked, the thoughts entice her to one fatal choice.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Trivial Thursday

1) How old do you act?
Depends on the situation. Yesterday when one of my children told me they thought I was "mean" for the HUNDREDTH time that day, I stuck my tongue out at them. At that point, I was probably acting about three -- perhaps, four years old.

2) As far back as you can remember, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mom, writer and elementary school teacher. I've managed to become a mom! Go me!

3) If you were to write a book based on your life, what would the title be?
"Maximum Chaos: The Family that ALMOST Made It To Jerry Springer"

4) What's something that you do that's considered "childish" by most?
I clap my hands when I am really excited about news a friend shares -- and often times I will jump up and down with a good loud squeal thrown in for good measure.

5) The last question isn't a question. Write a story of a time of when you or someone you know overcame great adversity.
Dealing with my families, and MY, mental health issues -- specifically bouts of severe depression and anxiety disorders. I can't go into more details today. Looking back through my journey, I realize that has all been a huge turning point in my life. All of the events have really changed me and ultimately made me a better, more compassionate and empathetic person.