Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Copper Update

Copper has lived passed the expected 2 months the vet gave him. However Monday the lumps on his neck returned. I called the vet and he said it was normal and if they get bigger to call. Just pray that I would be able to handle whatever and whenever this cancer starts affecting him more. So far he just sleeps more and his mouth sometimes has a wierd twitch. He also drinks a ton of water which means an occasional accident in the house. I am so grateful he is still here and am trying to enjoy his company while it lasts. If you would like to go with me on a walk let me know!!!

small joys

Yesterday I had my 5 very cute nieces over to bake & decorate sugar cookies (well 4 baked and Lana looked on). I love to bake and I thought it might be something I could share. They seemed to have so much fun, adding ingredients and watching the mixer go around & around. Then rolling out the dough (like playdough) and cutting out various shapes...so fun. The best was when they frosted the cookies. At least 4inches thick on each small cookie topped with an entire bottle of sprinkles! my dogs are loving picking up the left overs!! It was a joyful thing. They have no fear, no sadness, they are just happy with life. It was contageous!

Meghan asked me an interesting question "does uncle Mike know God?" "Yes" I said, "He knows God and because He loved Jesus He is living with God right now. Isn't he lucky!" She smiled and went back to watching the Little Mermaid.

It made me so grateful. Mike prayed for these girls since before they were born. Praying that one day God would draw them unto Himself, I am so glad that at such a young age they are asking such questions.

It made me smile! I can't ask for much more! Mike loved them so much and would be so proud of the way they are growing up! Im glad they still remember him.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

new view

Ok, so I appologize for the last entry, but I am going to leave it so that this one will make sense. I put in a CD that the Baldwins gave me.(love you guys) by the Getty family. I don't know the names of songs but here are the lyrics (there may be some errors)

When trials come no longer fear, for in the pain Our God draws near to find a faith worth more than gold and there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know your peace, the breath of God brings strength to me and new each morning mercy flows as treasures of the darkness grow.

I turn to wisdom not my own, for every battle you have known, my confidence with rest in you, your love endures your ways are good.

When I am weary with the cost I see the triumph of the cross so in its shadow I shall run till He completes the work begun.

One day all things will be made knew, I’ll see the hope you’ve called me to, and in your kingdom paved with gold, I’ll praise your faithfulness of old.

I felt so convicted. In my pain God draws near (see verse one) and it is to refine me to make me better it just doesn't feel good. But I need to realize verse two-that he give peace and treasure will grow some already have from this darkness. How do I do this, verse 3 I turn to wisdom not my own-open your bible amy - his word is still true even when I can't see how it is in this situation he has a plan and his ways are good. so verse 4-Im tired I need to look to the cross and run there, not away from emotions or events but to the cross and all that was accomplished there for me and it is not up to me when this refining will be over he will complete what he has started in me I just don't exactly know what that is right now. But I can be happy b/c last verse-one day all things will be made knew and I will see the HOPE He called me to and then I will sing of His faithfulness- how great is our God that He is loving, faithful, and has a plan and doesn't change it based on me and my emotional status. Yes this hurts but there will be good even if I don't see it until I walk on the streets of gold. May I remain faithful and focused on the cross and not on me.

The next song is In Christ Alone. I wont write the lyrics but you should sing it. It should be a Christmas song (verse 2) That is why we have Christmas. May my hope be found only in Christ. I have hope!!! it just hurts at the moment.

will the grief ever end???

today was a hard day. well this whole weekend was hard. well if I am really honest I hate the holidays starting with thanksgiving. You are supposed to be happy and have great plans to spend with family, and I want nothing more than to disapear. The tears have been working overtime and I don't know how to make them stop. I want january to be here already. not that it helps because it would appear that every month minus september, october, & march, have some significant day in them. I want to be in Heaven or at least in a place where I don't hurt anymore. I know God did not promise us an easy life or a comfortable life and so I should just be grateful and stop complaining b/c far more people have to deal with significantly worse things than a broken heart and a confused mind.

This song just popped into my mind:

I cry out for hand of mercy to heal me
I am weak and I need your love to free me
oh Lord your my rock my strength in weakness come rescue me oh Lord

I want to run. but then agian I don't. I want to be able to be in a room with happy people and be happy. not just for looks but honestly be happy and not have a knot in my stomach wondering how much longer I have to keep it together b/c I don't want to wreck it for everyone else. I don't want to be the black whole sucking the joy out of the room. and I don't know how to do that.

Right now I want to delete all that I have written, but I started this blog to allow you to see what really goes on in my mind, scary thought.. but I am hurting tonight and Im not sure how to fix it. I thought I was doing better. So sorry for the relapse of emotion. I just really miss mike and today I really miss grandpa too. They were my two biggest fans who gave really great hugs when I needed them. and tonight they aren't here and I really want a hug. It just me in a really quiet house and the dogs are scared b/c Im crying a lot so they won't even cuddle.

I know that things will be alright, they always are, I just hate not being in control of my emotions and today they got the best of me. Tomorow is another day with mercies new in the morning. I hope it is a better morning one with less mourning!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My new Wednesday routine seems to be sitting in traffic. Last week it took me over 2 hours to travel less than 15 miles. Today almost 2 hours to get from Santa Monica to my house. I wish people knew how to drive in the rain! also I wish there was a way to keep my dogs out of the mud. Oh the constant cleaning of towels, sheets, floors... I love my dogs! I hope next Wed is not spent sitting on the 405

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Christmas time

I got to thinking today about Christmas(it is about time seeing it is less than 2 weeks away) and I wondered why I have not decorated or shopped or even thought about it. Perhaps it is because it is so different from past Christmases, Mike & I spent part every Christmas from 2002-2005 with Grandpa and Grandma Crawford while she was alive, and that won't happen agian. or perhaps its because it doesn't really matter. Mike did not like Christmas- he thought everyone was so fake. Putting on happy faces talking with people you wouldn't normally, and being happy when the other 11 months you weren't. I guess over the last two years I have come to see his point. I used to love Christmas-love baking, decorating, singing, giving gifts, eating my baking.....but I always was stressed. I wanted everything to be perfect. and for what. The purpose (if there is one) to Christmas is to remember Christ's birth. But we should do that every day. He came to die, that through death He might grant us eternal life. If we can't be joyful over that fact all year, than why at Christmas. So as I approach Christmas this year, I have minimal decorations (I have to decorate I love it too much) and I will be baking with my mom this saturday. But because it fun, and it is a chance to spend time with my mom (we don't do that very much) not because I have to. It is a chance for me to share some joy to neighbors through yummy cookies, but also with cards that should talk about the savior. So during this holiday season don't stress but do share joy, the joy you should be sharing all year round. and come over and enjoy some cookies (I'm not supposed to eat them) Give the gift of Christ through a smile or a hug to someone and remind them that its not about the lights and gifts but about THE LIGHT and the perfect gift...Christ.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a life worth living

I leave tomorrow for VA to go to grandpa's funeral. I'm not sure how I am feeling about anything. Yesterday I looked at a picture with Mike, grandma, and grandpa. It was taken Christmas 2005 only two years ago, everyone is laughing due to comments that were being made at the time it is a great pic. But it occured to me that not one of them is here to smile with me anymore. It was a reality check (you would think I wouldn't need these anymore) to how short life is. (Even though there are days that seem like an eternity) We are a vapor. Grace asked a question the other day along the lines of are we living for something worth dying for. Paul said "to live Christ, to die gain" are we living that way. The only thing worth living and dying for is Christ. So pray for boldness to share with so many who are without Christ, for they are a vapor too. May I take every opportunity and step way out of my comfort zone!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Road Trip

What do the 405, 101,126, 5, 60, 710, 110 & 10 freways all have in common? I was on all of them in the last four days!! This thanksgiving I decided to spend with some pretty amazing people. So I traveled to Santa Maria. For those who have never been it is where my love and fascination of farms meets my love of beaches. The O'Roarks opened their home to me and let me stay in the worlds most comfortable bed for two nights. It is so quiet i sleep really well! It only took me about 5 hours to get there with the insane amount of traffic, but it was God's timing. It took me three hours to get to Ventura where I got off the freway for a pit stop and some much needed food after the bumper to bumper three hour tour of the405! As soon as I pulled into a parking spot Whit called me to tell me that Grandpa had passed away. I had the same reaction that I had when they told me grandma died two years prior, and that was one of nothing. I couldn't talk, couldn't breathe for a moment, couldn't really think. I just sat. Then I went into panic mode, do I drive back, push ahead, I continued on not knowing how Thanksgiving would be. Holidays are not my favorate days lately, mainly because my crazy busy life stop and I have time to think and thinking only brings tears and those who know me know that me and expressing emotion are not real good friends. Thanksgiving thursday was here and so was great food, starting with my favorite breakfast....apple jacks!! Then Dini made the thanksgiving feast. Turkey-which was totally juicy and looked like the pictures in magazines, cranberry sauce cut with this amazing cranberry wavy cutter thing (Leilani you need to put that on your registry) it looked all professional, stuffing, yams piled high with marshmellows-YUM!! and potatoes-which Kevin helped peel. It was a ton of food!! I think Kevin and Dini will be having thanksgiving well into next week! We then just sat around and relaxed which I never do and it was so nice not to have to think- Ihope they weren't board! Friday Kevin took me to the new train depot and talked about trains and town history as we traveled it was so interesting. He is so excited about it it is contagous. I got to meet his good friend Rob and Lea who were also fun to talk with. We then traveled to Pismo to look at the butterflies. 1000s of them. Words cannot describe the beauty of them. We then walked down this cool little path to the beach which agian was amazing. It was a perfect day to be at the beach. After a while we walked back up and listened to a lady talk about the butterflies and of course there was a railroad tie- Eucalyptus was planted originally to be used on the railroad, but it wasn't good wood for that, so the groves stayed, butterflies came and the rest is history..... I then got to go to Dini's work-Glad a Way farms. They sell beautiful gladiolas . It was cool to see how many millions of bulbs and how they sort and organize it all. We also got to eat Orkuit Burger-really good!!! Athough I really wanted to stay another day or two I thought I should probably make my way back to reality. I then headed to my brothers in Ventura. I haven't seen him since August so it was a good visit. He got a new german shepard puppy who at 5 months is about as big as copper and about as hyper as sam!! So much fun!!! Not wanting to go home I decided at the last minute about 9:30pm to stay at Leilani's so we could maybe get some wedding stuff done. So Saturday we spent together which was really fun and productive. 54 days till she is a wife! (she will be a good one) I decided to stay and play a little longer with yet another puppy Rubi!! very fun. I stayed and went to church with Ed and Jodi today. It was really nice to be with family in church. I can't explain it. It was just what I needed. I then finally came home. My dogs super excited to see me, only I worked on homework and yep I got it finished!! before the day it's due. So now I will prepare to go back to VA for grandpas funeral. God has interesting timing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

things Im learning

I have been MIA for a couple weeks now due to emotional unstableness. Over the past month I have stopped doing anything. I stoped excersizing due to being sick at first, then just being lazy, I stoped eating right, agian being lazy and finding comfort in fatty foods, so now I have put back on all the weight I had worked so hard to get rid of and that just makes you more depressed and leads to cookies and french fries anyways....this past week though, decided that I needed to get back up and out of my funky mood, but rather than get up to work out, I opened the Bible. Wow the difference. I am going through Phil. 4 (been here a while, but it is full of great things you should read it!!) All week what I read in the morning I thought about all day and most days needed what I read to make better decisions than what I would have made if I did not have scripture on my mind. Friday I read Phil 4:11 Paul states that he LEARNED to be content. GAP girls I know that we talked about this in 2007 but being content takes constant work. I asked myself "am I really content?" I wasn't sure. Being content is not being happy but am I content even if I am sad? Then I wrote a list of what I am not content with on my "bad days" (I will save you the long list) everything on the list dealt with temporal things that the world values and all of them will pass away soon enough. I should not be content with the amount of time I spend in God's word, prayer, the amount of time I witness, my limited knowledge of the Bible, the fact that I am surrounded by people going to hell yet those things I am content most days to do nothing about. Last week I prayed for a renewed desire to read God's word and this week I have been awake at least 15 minutes before my alarm (which was set a 1/2 hour early anyways to not have any excuses) and I could not go back to sleep despite what time I went to bed (this week I am back to no sleep- but functioning alright) This was just a huge reminder that God does answer prayer. I have not felt that way for a while b/c I have not felt like He has answered my prayers. I found my journal that I started a year ago almost exactly (I don't write in it much) but the same things I was thinking and asking God then I am asking now. In fact the journal entries in it almost mirror the things that are in my Bible reading journal. I went to visit Chris' parents last Feb. and I wrote about being content and listening to a song titled "ENOUGH" my prayer then is the same that I wrote on Friday with the same song quoted agian I want to honestly say that I am content in every circumstance b/c God is enough for me. " All of you is more than enough for all of me for every thirst and every need you satisfy me with your love and all I have in you is more than enough" so next time you hear me complain remind me that God is enough. It doesn't mean I can't be sad but it does mean that in the sadness I look to God for comfort not food, or keeping busy, or meaningless things, but God and reading his word to know Him more and how amazing He is and all the wonderful promises He has given me. He didn't promise an easy life or even a happy one, but He did promise me love, peace, comfort, joy, salvation, and so much more. And if you know Christ (really know Him personally, not just head knowledge) you are promised these things too! Be content!! Paul learned and so can we!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Copper update

I promised to keep you (not sure who really reads this blog but) informed so here is what has happened in the last 2 weeks. I took Copper to the cancer specialist who really wanted to give him Chemo that day. I asked her the details of the procedure, side effects, and cost. The first 9 weeks of treatment for a dog his size (I like the big dogs!) would be around $3,000. Then there would be maintanance every few weeks after that for an indefinate amount of time, the most expensive drugs drop off but it would still be a couple hundred each time. This would give Copper about 13 months more of life. After many tears and about a half an hour of going back and forth I told the doctor I was in no shape to make a decision. I have learned from my mistakes that when money is involved I have to be in a good emotional place, or at least a stable one. So after much thought and a baking of several desserts I came to terms that financially I cannot afford the chemo. The other option is to treat the enlarged lymphnodes with a hormone. This would reduce the size of the lymphnodes but do nothing for the cancer.(it basically gives Copper comfort while the cancer continues to spread) giving him about 2 months. So last Monday I took him for a blood test to see if he was alright to do the hormones, when the doctor called with the results I explained that I wanted just to do the hormone therapy, he said he might have an additional treatment I could try. So on Wed. I met with him and there is a Chemo pill that I can give Copper but the side effects are much more like human Chemo than the full Chemo treatment would have given him. This would extend his life possibly 6 months. However after thinking about the side effects (which Copper may or may not get) if he did have side effects he would probably be sick for the remainder of his life. Right now he is himself, chasing cats, small dogs, he cleared a very high wall on Saturday morning hunting something, and he continues to be my cuddle dog. So after much thought I think in Copper's best intrest for quality of life I am just going to let the hormones make him comfortable. I feel aweful b/c I am not doing all that I can, but i don't want to risk him getting sick either. I can't imagine what parents of kids with cancer go through. As of today the lymphnodes are smaller so he is responding to them, but it isn't a cure and the prediction from the vet is about 2 months. So for now we are going on walks on days when I don't have class and I am trying to enjoy him while I have him, so I don't have regrets when he's not here. As I sat on the beach last Sunday, I tried to put things into perspective. I lost my best friend, pastor, the person who loved me more than I ever deserved, my dreamer, accountablity partner, encourager, and so many more roles that Mike filled, and God brought me, well is bringing me through, so surely he will help me cope with this. It doesn't feel any better, but God has been faithful and He will continue to be. It is another part of Mike I will be loosing but well Im not even sure what to say about it. It is my reality as death is everyones reality and it is unavoidable for every living thing. It serves as a reminder that we are a vapor and that even nature is waiting for Christ's return when it too will be made perfect and new. Mike had already explained to me that all dogs don't go to Heaven. But they are here and they do bring joy and I think they like the rest of creation can point to God. So maybe Copper licking my tears is really a gift from God to remind me that as alone as I feel, God still cares and is catching all my tears. Thanks for praying!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

convicting words

"If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail" (Isaiah 58:10-11).

I was convicted by this verse today. I want nothing more lately than to shut the world out & be alone. I don't want to talk to anyone, I really have fought hard to get up each morning this past week, I would like just to sleep which is a wierd thing for me. But this verse says that we are to give ourselves to those who need us. If we do then our light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday-not only will my darkness be made light, God will guide me and satisfy my desire in the burned places and give me strength not only that He will make me like a watered garden (no cactus here). So perhaps this last month has been so incredibly hard and dark because I have closed off and not been tending to others. As hard as it is for me right now pray that God will bring me people to give myself to, that I would see them, and know how to minister to them. May this also encourage you to do the same! We all should be like well watered gardens and bring some beauty to this barren world around us. So give (or continue to give) yourself to others!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Copper update

I have an appointment with the doggie cancer doctor on Saturday. I am hoping they can answer my questions and give me a better idea of what is going to happen with Copper. The lumps on his throat have multiply, about every 2 days a new one forms, we are up to 4 tonight. I looked on the internet and in reading about treatment and time lines I will have Copper for about a month more, if that. Which breaks my heart. We got Copper exactly 5 years ago in October. He was so small he fit in my one hand and forearm (if you can imagine). I can remember driving him home hoping I had picked the right puppy for Mike. He was so shy and scared. He would follow Sampson around everywhere, but would always hide under things (chairs, beds, tables, the couch) anywhere he fit, which was almost anywhere. As he grew he still would try to put as much of himself under an object as possible, even as I type he is under the table. Copper is my guard dog. He lets me know when there is real danger (unlike Sam who barks at anything/everything) he is my pest control, but he is also my cuddle friend. He loves to give kisses and lay in my lap, most of all he more than Sam knows when I am sad and will just lay next to me and lick my tears. I am having such a hard time thinking about what it is going to be like without him. He was Mike's fave, I have so many pictures with him sleeping with Copper, Copper is a much better cuddler than I ever was! Mainly I feel like I am going backwards in grief, which is really the last place I want to go, but I don't know how to stop that. I am loosing my kid. So please pray I don't loose my mind over this and that my emotions don't get out of control. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

pray for me!

Copper has cancer. So I need to decide on treatment. I need help making that decision so pray that I make a wise one.

Friday, October 17, 2008

prayer request

Copper in his usuall way has killed a few critters this past week. He had a lump on his throat that I thought was probably from one of his wrestling matches. So today I took him to the vet b/c the lump was bigger. Well the vet said that his lymphnodes were all inflamed and he had a fever. So the vet took some samples. The early diagnosis is two posibilities, one an infection and two cancer. So pray that it is just an infection and the antibiotics work. I don't want to even think about option 2, except I did and tears fell and my stomach was in knots. Pray for my dog, I know that sounds lame, but he is my kid and Im not sure right now I can handle any more than what I already am dealing with. So copper and I both have fevers and only one is on antibiotics so I guess pray for me too. I cant get to the Dr until monday afternoon. Hopefully I will be better by then.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

true results

well i looked today at how I actually did in my triathalon. since i have never done one before I really had no idea of what my time should be or how hard to push myself and still have enough energy to last the entire race. I think I did alright. My overall time was 1:24:31 which is not bad. place wise I was in the middle of the field 514 out of 1000. my swim time-12:44 t1-4:08 bike-39:55 t2-2:05 run-25:38 so i know where I need to improve! I need speed training and a beter transition from the swim to the bike although I think I was simply frozen. But now I have a goal for the next one!! and yes there will be a next one!! if anyone wants to join the craziness let me know!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I survived!

Sunday I competed in my first triathalon. It was quite an adventure. Saturday I went down to hermosa pier to practice/play in the ocean. it was cold and due to the amount of wind, the surf was big and choppy. I am so glad that it was not that way sunday. The water temp dropped so I believe it was like 58 or less, so since I was one of a few that didn't have a wet suit it was FREEZING! but I made it. I think I was purple by the time I got out, but I made my way up the beach to the transition area where I quickly put on shorts, tanktop, long sleeve shirt, and cycling shoes. I grabbed a small amount of GU to give me a quick energy boost. and away I rode up pier ave onto the bike course. I was still numb from the swim which may have helped! You ride 3 laps then head back to the pier. But let me tell you about the bike ride, there were over 1000 participants and although you have a stagard start there were a lot of bikes still going when I was there. so if you are behind a slow bike you have to pass on the left and yell "on your left" as you pass, well the problem was that anytime I wanted to pass there were always a whole line of bikes passing as well so I couldn't pull into that passing shoulder. I am too polite I guess (I didn't want to get hit or cause an accident really) I was trying to watch other bikers when they would shift and try to follow, but needless to say I need practice. The odd part is that your legs are tired when you start but by the middle I don't think I felt them. anyways next you ride down Pier Ave back to the transition area to put your bike up, take off the jacket, put socks on and running shoes. well the only problem was I had NO feeling in my feet. try putting socks on frozen sleeping damp feet fun times! I then had a sip of propell and headed out for the run however i forgot to get more GU and really needed it! but I ran with no feeling in my feet until close to the final mile. I kept looking at peoples leg where your age was written in marker trying to catch anyone older than me, or younger. I am not sure what my time was as I forgot to set my watch at the start, but what is important is that I finished and I felt alright throughout the race. Next time I will do things slightly different and train different, but as my mom huged me at the end with tears saying "you've come so far" it made me think that even though sometimes it feels like the accident was so long ago it really wasn't and for not being able to walk 18months ago to be able to complete this type of event makes me very grateful to know that God has done some amazing healing both physically and mentally as well as spiritually to enable me to compete. I have also been blessed to have great support from Trent my trainer and Phil the nutritionist who have given me structure and push my body in ways I would never do on my own, but I think it is good. So many people have come into my life some totally new and others just in a new deeper way and I am gratefull for them. So now training begins for the Turkey trot!! then who knows!! thanks for all your prayers! I am still defrosting but cant complain! I'll let you know my times when I get them. Oh you too can do this, Im not crazy as some think, you can be part of a relay! think about it it could be fun I am happy to train with you!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

life update

i have not had the chance to blog recently due primarily to a lack of internet access. so i will attempt to catch you all up to speed. first i am currently at my sisters house watching my 3year old niece while my sister and her husband took my newborn niece to emergency. alot has happened since my last entry. pray for them. the baby has a cold and is having difficulty breathing, so pray that the cold goes away and she is able to breath.

my last entry i was preparing to paint, well after a few minor incidents and a really long weekend of painting the house looks good. thanks to all who helped. it was difficult for me to complete it, but it feels good too. the wasp stings didn't feel good, but checking this item off the list did feel good. a good friend of mine pointed out that i probably don't like finishing projects b/c i really don't want to feel at home. that is probably true. more so however it is that working on the house is pretty much the only memory i have at the house b/c that is all we did, so working by myself is hard and reminds me of how alone i am. but on a happier note the monday after we painted my sister went into labor and i now have a new little, at birth 8lbs 14oz, niece. so i have been spending my few free nights keeping ava busy and trying to let my sister sleep. for all you want to be moms, i suggest spending a week or so with a new mom before rushing in to the baby thing. there is a reason moms are kind of crazy.... so it is friday, well actually saturday now, and sunday is my first triathalon. i am really excited/nervous only because i have never done anything like this. however all the latest grief emails suggest excersize, trying new things, and eating healthy. all of which relate to this adventure. i am nervous about the swim only b/c the surf should be kind of big due to storms, which may help me b/c most triathaletes are not swimmers, so astrid you could totally join me, so hopefully i can get out fast through the surf and be near the front to start the bike which will be the slowest leg for me as i am not a biker and have trained very little for. then the run which i am fine with i just have not trained for speed i have been focused on my endurance b/c after the accident i couldn't walk five steps without being tired so now i can run be it slow, for over an hour with little problem, so three miles is not that far only trying to do it fast after the swim and bike make it a little more interesting but that is the joy of it. i'll let you know how it goes. pray that i get sleep between now and then, i am spending late nights at my sisters and getting up early for work and swimming, and when i am not at my sisters i still am up late with my thoughts, so pray for rest.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


where do you find joy?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

a finished house

It has been my goal since December 23, 2006 to finish this house. And wow the progress that we made. Now there are a few things left and as excited as I am to finish it, it has been really hard preparing for Saturday. Not just the physical part of it, but mentally. It has reminded me so much of what my life was like before that stupid trip away. We would get up go to work, get home change into the smelly work clothes and work until bed. It was tiring yet fun and we were doing it together. The last project we worked on was the roof. I was so proud of Mike b/c he got up there with me (which day 1 he didn't he simply cheered me on telling me how proud he was that he had a woman who would do what I was doing) but by day 2 he was up there (he wouldn't go up and down, but that was good excersize for me) We had fun and we finished it. The first day I came back home I went in the back yard, b/c I didn't think I could handle the inside, but when I looked up there was the roof and I lost it. I am so scared that that is going to happen agian. As I continue to sort through his stuff, and boxes we hadn't unpacked there are just so many memories. Sometimes they make me smile, others cry, and others simply ask why aren't you here. I keep wanting to miss him less and I guess the fact that I don't cry every single night anymore means that I do miss him less, yet I still have this huge part of me missing it seems. I don't think it is ever going to go away. Tonight I was at a fund raiser to help my sister, they were auctioning off single men and women. It was so hard to be in bar having random guys come talk to me so I would know them better in hopes that I would bid on them. Some were really nice and great looking, but I always thought of Mike and what he would say about them with his random comments and sense of humor that made an uncomfortable situation funny. I wish I had that tallent. I just wonder what God is planning and I now that that is not for me to know, only to trust and endure as Job did, but it is hard. I want to be excited about finishing the house not worried and feeling like Im loosing part of Mike b/c he' s not here to finish it with me. and maybe that is the hardest part of this. To see my life continue with new memories and different hobbies (all to fill the void and keep busy I think) is really hard, especially when I see the old and we are always together. As much as I want/need to move on it is hard b/c the past is so clear and I don't want to let all of it go. but I try to stop the tears and re-focus. It will be ok, it always is heaven is coming and there I will be complete forever with true joy and no more tears. So bring on the paint and lets finish the house even though it is hard it is a step forward. maybe.

Monday, September 22, 2008

this weekends workouts

Well my triathalon is just a couple weeks away, which is really really soon. So I am going to blog my workouts to increase the accountability cause last week I was lazy!! So Saturday I had a gym workout- mile warm up, pre workout stetchy things, two lengths of the racketball courts doing lunges w/menicine ball 1 length twist, one length lifting it overhead, briges on the ball, 20 crunches on the ball, alternate glute/arm raises on the ball, lat pull downs X20 reps at 60lbs, repeat these 2X then I did lunges with 8lb weights doing an overhead press with each arm 5 on each leg, 20 modified pull ups repeat this twice. Sunday I only ran 2 miles. Monday- morning swim- warm up(this is when I pray for all of you a lap for each) then 4X 300M, 6X 50M-IM order(total of 24 50s) then at night a gym workout- mile warm up, pre workout stretchy things, 20 bridges on the ball, 20 crunches, 12 pushups, 12 lat pull downs repeat this set twice. Then 10 lunges each leg w/10lb weight to do overhead presses, stretch, repeat. Then I did chest press machine 12X twice. then run 2min flat then 1 min at 5% incline for 15 minutes, then cool down. So for all you athletes there is my little workouts. It will hopefully increase as the week progresses. Lets just hope I find time to learn how to ride my bike!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

perks of the small house

This weekend I spent most of the two days preparing my house to be painted this comming weekend. I am so glad that I live in a tiny little house, I couldn't imagine doing all this to anything larger! So as of Sunday night the house is cleaned (I got rid of all the dust, dirt, and small animal homes) on the outside, I patched all the areas I could reach safely, and the windows are taped and sanded and ready to be primed. So Thurs. the priming will begin followed by a second coat to the wood parts on Fri. I think then Saturday we will be able to get the color part onto to the house and it be done!! There are a few other jobs on my wish list to, we will see if they get done. (molding around the window inside and out, hang mailbox & house #, finish the base boards in the kitchen, knock out the shelves in the laundry area and put new usable ones up, move furniture to the attick, place ply wood down in the attic so furniture doesn't fall through, hand mirror in the bathroom, fix light fixtures in hallway, laundry, and bathroom, plant plants I bought durring VBS week, dig trench for roses along wood fence) What a dream list!! Thank you for all of you are able to help. As you can see I really need help (in more ways than one).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

what to do?

Today was an odd day. I was sick most of the night and most of today, but thankfully I had a training to go to so I did not have to worry about the kids (except that they called me at the meeting to tell me that my sub didn't show) anyways the wierd part of the day was when I called my older brother. I always like talking to him. He told me that my brother was sentenced to two years in state prison. When you take his time served already and the math formula they use to calculate the time they acctually serve it will be about 15 months before he is free. My dad was really upset when he talked with my brother so I called him and he wasn't happy but not as bad as my brother described, however he told me Joel will only be at men's central between 1-2 weeks then he will be moved so if I want to see him I should go. I wasn't sure what to tell him or myself. Do I go? If I go what do I say? I don't want to go with my dad, but Im not sure I really want to go by myself. what to do? And as much as I am trying to not live my life with "what would Mike do?" as my way to answer questions, I usuallycome up with a good answer when I do that, but tonight Im not sure what he would tell me. Probably to go and share Christ's love, but how is that done through plexie glass, when Joel always says the same things every time. So pray I will know what to do and what to say if I go and do I go solo or not? i guess thats alot of questions. God is in control!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Argh.... well I am now attending the Beach, however now both my classes are going to be held off campus. I guess this is good, as I will not have to walk a mile to get to class or drive around looking for parking, however for once I tried to plan ahead and bought a parking pass, now I don't need it and probably cant sell it back so if you need the pass I have it. I think I am getting to old for this school thing. perhaps this off campus thing will be easier on my currently fragile emotional state. Go Beach. I think it is easier to say from a distance!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

back to reality

Today was the first day back at work and the first day back at school(yet agian). Both were hard. I keep thinking that perhaps I am doing better with things, in fact I took a quiz in this grief book I just finished (thats right I finished yet another book!!!) and I thought I scored pretty well. However seeing coworkers faces and answering their questions today of "how are you" with my "alright how about you?" answer knowing they want to know more, but I am too stubborn to break down and be truthful, many of them Mike's closest teachers and I would love more than anything to be able to talk to them honestly like he used to. To just put Christ in the conversation, but I will have to work on that some more. The second half of my extremely long day was far more difficult than I ever would have imagined, in fact it never occured to me that I would have a hard time going to a place called "The Beach", but it was. Everyone else seemed so into the discussion and all I wanted to do was go home and if I had not said a word I would have been happy, even though the prof says our participation is important. We'll see how this goes. But what shocked me was as I wandered through the campus (the large campus) to find my car I walked past the PE area and started crying. Why? not sure except that I really wanted to call Mike and tell him how I got lost, how I wanted him to tell me where to park, tell me where the room was, I just imagined that if he were here all the things he would have told me today. I know that I need that I need to stop thinking in these terms and I have tried, but as I walked passed the courts I could see Mike in his classes playing, doing his internship stuff with kids, I wondered what it would have been like to go to the beach with him as he wanted, knowing nothing good would have come from that. But anyways the tears fell and well perhaps they will continue but God is still God and although I screamed at him in the car, I know that somehow this will all turn out for His glory and my good. not sure how but am trusting as hard is that is. So I will start my homework tomorrow and hope that eventually I will feel comfortable in my own skin agian.

Friday, August 29, 2008

visit to the past

Last night I flew over the Las Vegas strip. It brings up many memories for me both good and sad. I first smiled as I flew past the hotel that Mike & I stayed at last. It was the nicest places we had ever stayed at. It was such a amazing couple of days with him, we talked most of the trip about our ministry at the church, the growth we were seeing in each of the GAP members lives, and talked through how we wanted to improve and invest more ourselves in them, because that is what is important. However the trip was not free of argument, when we first arrived I wanted to visit my friend Dawn & see her new house, Mike wanted me to watch the Cubs home opener, but I went to visit Dawn leaving him at the hotel by himself. He said that was fine, but I knew he wasn't happy and when I returned he showed it. I spent the afternoon trying to make it up to him going to places I thought he would like- ESPN Zone, wienersnitzle, and then after all these failed attempts just simply said I was wrong- a hard thing for me to do. We then had a great time making a frozen pizza in the hotel room and watching the final college basketball game(end of march madness). I loved watching sports with Mike. He got so into it, it made you want to be excited and he knew random facts which I love. I also just loved the way he would hold me and joke with me about how little I knew but always pretended to know more than I really did. I once shocked him at the house in Lomita, I got up early on Sunday and was ironing his shirt watching ESPN. As everyone knows they replay the same info. over and over, so by the time Mike came to the back room I had it memorized. He asked a question about some player and I rattled off some amazing statistic and was like wow how did you know that, about 10 minutes later he heard the same line on the TV. For a moment I was sport smart! Anyways back to vegas memories. The next day we hung out at the hotel and then went to BJs for lunch. I only knew where this was b/c there is an awesome resurant row by Dawn's house with several of our favorates (BJs, Olive Garden, ISlands, Costco, ect...) so we sat down and decided to try some new items not pizza, Mike had a meatball sandwhich, I had "chick food" salad. It was nice. We then hung out agian at the hotel, Mike took a nap, I got board and went for a walk around the hotel and priced massages, Mike said I should get one, but I thought it best to save money b/c we couldn't both get one and after one mistake of doing my visit to Dawn's solo I wasn't going to do anything without him on this trip. We then went to get our free voucher that came with the hotel while we were headed to the hilton cassino he got a call which was work related and he handled that while I got our money. I was amazed at how appologetic he was about that phone call, I didn't care, but he wanted those couple of days to be about us. We then went to his fave place for dinner, Outback- he had his usuall steak, mashed potatoes, baked potatoe meal (although he actually really liked the salad he couldn't decide between the two potatoes so I told him to get both) I had the ribs! I amazed him with my ability to eat the entire rack the first time we were in vegas for his cousins wedding. anyways we went back to the hotel and had a restful night. He slept in the next morning while I cleaned everything up and packed, we got on the road about 8 and after a quick stop at the McDonalds at the very edge of Vegas we were on our way back to reality. Our realities are very different now, he is expiernceing something that I try to imagine but can't really God's presence, and although I am too expeirencing His prescence it is on a very different level. I have learned so much during the last year. Ive read books Mike wanted me to read, I just am a very different person. Parts of me are so much better and he would be proud, other parts Im still working on and it will take time and patience. I have learned not to take things for granted and not to worry so much about little things for they won't matter in eternity. I miss mike more than words can describe that it physically hurts to think about him, but not as much as a year ago, so I think in time that will fade although not completely and that is alright. I am so blessed to have had Mike in my life, the good parts of him, and the not so good parts for that is what made him him. I can only hope that I find the passion that he had towards God's word, and the compasion and the desire to see people's lives changed by God. Mike was a great mentor to me and i miss his wisdom alot, I also miss his bear hugs, back slaps, smiles, and jokes. "Enjoy life Amy" I hear him in my head alot, and I am trying. One of the greatest priveleges in knowing mike was hearing him preach through ecclesiates and Habbackuk. when everything goes away what will you have? it is a question he had written in his sermon notes. something to think about. After a year of having my world taken away I know what I have... God's love, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His word and although I still struggle I know that God is with me and that for whatever reason he isn't finished with me. I pray that as He works on me I would be teachable and responsive with a soft heart. I don't understand his plan, but I am trying to trust him and his timing. It hurts, but I know that eternity with him is a lot longer than my vapor of a life here. So enjoy life for it is a gift from God!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Busy last day of summer!

Today is my last day of summer here in Carson before I go back to work & school & all the other real life things that I have ignored for the last month!! So very sad, but today I got stuff done!!! Today began with an hour and a half swim with my swimming pals John & Ed- it was a really tough workout and my body was sore from yesterdays biking adventure. I then returned home to give my boys baths- not an easy or quick task, but they now are soft and smell like coconut!! and best of all are not all dusty(that will last a day) I also sprayed the yard to elliminate or at least minimize the bugs(fleas) as to prevent iching on my babies.Then I was off to the gym, but along the way I pick up the boys advantage medicine(the extra good kind according to the vet and I handed him my credit card). then i worked out! It was tough but I feel good after many crunches, lunges, squats, overhead presses, pull ups and pushups. Yea for muscles! Anyways I then drove to the Doctors office to give my blood-yuk- then it was off to the chiropractor to pay my bill from the accident so agian I handed over my credit card and mentally took a deep breath. I then drove accross the street to the store and bought some popcycles Dryers all natural no sugar added- only 30 calories and taste really good!!! Not even counted as a cheat! Then I drove home, ate lunch, packed, and called Mikes ER doctor's office and agian handed over my credit card number and pain that bill finally. I had put all my accident bills on a shelf last year in hopes I think that they would disappear. Since that didn't happen I finally looked through them agian and dealt with them-I am reading a book on loss (one of many) and I am not ashamed of grieving it's just I dont like the feeling of it, so parts of it you don't face unless you have to. In the book it says that the length of time you grieve and the amount of pain you feel is directly related to the strength tied to what you lost. I guess I am still hurting becuase I loved him alot (in case any of you doubted this with are joking) So I guess I should expect to feel waves of pain here and there for a while longer even if I don't want to. In a few minutes I will head to the airport to go visit Dawn (pray for me & her) it will be a rough weekend as it is the weekend Mike proposed 6 years ago. We acctually celebrated that day every year. This year will hopefully be easier than last year. I put my engagement ring away last year and well I guess that was big step in realizing the reality that I am not married anymore, which is alright because it is part of God's plan whether I understand or not I need to trust and accept His will for my life. (thats not easy most days) So.........I am going on a jet plane and I will maybe be back on Monday with just enough time to prepare to go to The Beach..that is CSULB, and work. i just pray that this weekend will be fun and conversation will be good and that Christ would shine through me and Dawn and Matt would see HIM. So Happy long weekend to you all! I know this is going to be a difficult weekend for some of you and know that you are in my prayers. May God's will be done in your lives as well as mine, even when it doesn't make sense or feel good to us or those around us! Not sure I will have access to a computer so this maybe it until monday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Look! I'm joining the techy world too!

I am not sure about this blogging thing, since I am not very good at journaling we will see how long this lasts. But for now I thought I would try it, it might be good for me as Astrid tried to convince me on our day in La Jolla. (she did very well on the kayak by the way all 800 miles of our paddle). So today on my bike ride (yes I am preparing for a triathalon so I am trying to get used to riding on it) I thought I would let you know what I have been up to in my training both spiritual and personal. On the personal side, today I swam for an hour and 20 minutes with Ed and John who are two older men who swim in my lane who for whatever reason enjoy talking with me, I think I provide entertainment with my lack of skills, but they are friendly and encourage me. Then I went for a healthy breakfast- oatmeal(not a fan still) banana, and an egg(agian not a fan) to celebrate POPS birthday. Then I saddled up for a bike ride from Redondo Beach to Marina Del Rey. A pretty ride, then headed back the same route for fear that deviation from the path would get me lost and that would mean a longer ride. So about an hour and a half later I returned to my car and my arms not my butt or my legs were tired- go figure. Yea a swim and bike ride!! I did good on my diet today too! for those who are curious it was peach for a morning snack, chicken and salad for lunch, banana & peanut butter for snack, chicken & salad for dinner, and sorbet for dessert! pretty good although I missed one afternoon snack and need to drink a lot of water tonight to make up for my lack of drinking earlier in the day! Tonight I am going to get back into Phil. while I was in San Diego I was convicted while reading chapter 2 about many things-1st to do all things with proper motives which I have a lot to consider in this area, just why do I do things good and bad. 2nd- to do all things without grumbling or complaining! what a challenge my heart needs work lately well all the time but esspecially recently it seems so... 3rd- Paul writes workout your salvation, I got to thinking that I can jog at a 10 minute mile pace for an hour, but it is not a workout it is just going through the motions, to really work my muscles and make them stronger I need to sweat and sprint and dig deep, and so it is in our spiritual lives If I am just on cruise control going through the motions, I am not working out I am simply maintaining. I need to be digging deep into God's word and applying it. This working out means I will hurt, my muscles (namely my heart) will hurt and it might be hard, but it is the only way to really workout! So although I avoid it lately because it hurts and I am not happy with my life it is really the only way that I will be able to get happy or at least content and be able to do things without grumbling or complaining. This is really long so I will stop for now. Dig deep in God's word and give your spiritual life a real workout!