Surviving a Broken Heart

Broken hearts come in so many different ways. Hurtful words. Lies. Betrayal. Physical pain. Being left behind.

Each can rip at you. Tearing away pieces of yourself. Your love. Your self-esteem. Little bit by little bit until all that remains is a lump of a person you don't recognize.

Not every broken heart goes to that extreme, but they are almost always accompanied by tears and suffering.

Eventually the pain lessens and becomes easier to bear, but each time, a sadness has remained with me.

Watching a friend go. A relationship change. Saying final goodbyes to a loved one.  Helpless as a dear one suffers. Pain and anger from gossip, lies, and consequences from choices.


Yesterday at church, we talked about loving one another. Serving each other. There was a beautiful quote read about how we should have a perfect love for each other. Never judging another. Always forgiving. It sounds so nice - but oh so unrealistic.

Or maybe I'm just too imperfect.

But I'm apparently not alone. A handful of ladies shared some perspective and thoughts about the quote read. One reminded us that while the gospel is perfect, the members of the church are merely humans, who make mistakes that may hurt others. Another shared how things someone says or does may not be related directly to you. Consider that there may be other things happening in their lives, frustration that has built up and unfortunately was released onto you with sarcasm, harsh words, or actions.

While I had heard these things before, today they came with comfort and consoled my heart.

A little piece was ripped away recently. I've been in tears, praying to find peace, forgiveness and how to handle the situation.  How to let it go. How incredibly difficult that is. But today, the ladies who shared their insights, words I've heard before, sunk in and glued back together some of my heart. Yes, I still hurt and am sad, but have found a tiny bit of comfort and am holding onto it, grasping it with white-knuckled fists.

Because while it hurts, knowing relationships will never be the same, trust that will be slow to be rebuilt - if it is ever rebuilt - I will move forward. I will be kind, respectful, but I will also guard my heart from being hurt by the same person again.

It will require a little spiritual CPR, but I will survive this broken heart.

The Meanie Mommy Sparkle and Shine!

Tomorrow kicks off a 5 day "weekend" for parent/teacher conferences and in-service days - and I'm so excited!

Sure, about four years ago, these long weekends meant a chaotic, disastrous house. Sometimes some fighting, but often lots of laughing.

There's still some fighting, but mostly laughing - but now, now . . . My kids are old enough to actually do a good job cleaning! My munchkins know these long breaks now mean we do a little deep cleaning each day before diving into the "fun" portion of our activities. For the most part, they don't complain. They just get the work done and get excited about checking off their to-do list. Girly Girl cleans everything she can reach with the Clorox wipes (kitchen handles, knobs, outside of the oven, fridge, and dishwasher. Even the microwave.) Squirrely Girl cleans the bathrooms and windows. The boys vacuum and sort and organize all those Legos (that's a feat all on it's own). Hubby and I usually take on a project or two. Cleaning out the garage and other fun stuff to prep for winter. I may even hang some more pictures.

So my house gets to sparkle and shine!

Then we have fun, fun, fun! I'm hoping for good weather so we can make good use of our bikes one last time before winterizing them until spring. Thursday evening, we're having our family photos taken - so excited about that, too! Squirrelly Girl is into baking, so I'm sure we'll whip up some delicious treats. Have a game board competition - maybe even a dance off and I just might let my kids kick my butt on the Wii. (Simply because there's no way I'll win. LOL).

But most of all, I'm so happy to have five days of family time.

And that's the best sparkle and shine of all.

Mismatched Socks and Mondays

Once upon a time, Mondays were a necessary evil. Dragging myself out of bed to drag my kids out of bed, throw together breakfast, outfits, cleaning off faces, overseeing the brushing of the teeth,  hunting, hunting and more hunting for matching shoes before piling into the van, double checking and triple checking that everyone is buckled in before dropping half of the kids off at that fabulous building where they get to learn and socialize. Then back to home where it was dump out all the toys time, snack time, nap time, clean up all the toys time, then repeat, repeat and pick up the school munchkins and go, go, go until I dropped into an exhausted heap on my bed.

Then Monday repeated itself over and over and over and over until finally it was Saturday. My day to sleep in and rest and let Dad take care of everything.

But now my kids are older, all in school including teenagers. TEENAGERS! Which means my Saturdays and Sundays are as busy as every other day of the week.

My Mondays have become my former Saturdays.

Yeah, I still drag myself out of bed, but now it's for family scripture study and prayer. The kids take care of everything else while I review my day. After dropping off everyone at their schools, I get to come home, chill on the couch, catch up on my favorite TV shows or a little Netflix love while I do laundry and did I mention chill? All day long. Well, at least until 3 pm when I get dressed for the day and pick up the munchkins again. At this stage of my life, my after school hours and weekends are consumed with my kids and their activities. I really love my kids and all their activities. But man, I'm so glad I have Mondays to recover.

So on this chilly autumn Monday, I'm enjoying the smell of Snuggle, watching a little Gilmore Girls, and sipping my favorite chocolaty cocoa.

Ahh, Mondays . . .

Shave Your Legs, Girlfriend!

My friend, Alison, has the oddest dreams ever. She often shares them with her friends on Facebooks and we all get a good laugh. Well, I was sharing a very weird dream I had with my daughter and realized it was Alison-worthy. And that my blogger friends would get a good laugh out of it, too.

So, there I was, prepping to run a 5K race. I went in to register and they wouldn't let me. I was very upset. "But why? Why can't I run the 5K? I've been training, I promise!"

The ruggedly good looking guy behind the registration table replied, "Ma'am" (that's never a good sign for a young chick like me) "You need to shave your legs."

Gasp! What? How dare he imply . . . I look down and holy freaking hannah!

My legs are hairy. No, no. Not just hairy. They are gloriously hairy, with long golden-reddish blonde hair. Thick and beautiful. Totally worthy of expensive hair products and a hair dryer after stepping out of the shower (cause there's no way you'd take a bath with all that hair!).

It was so long and beautiful and glorious that it put the hair on my own head to shame.

Which is so, so, so wrong.

So what did I do? I immediately went out to buy a men's industrial size electric razor to hack off the I'm-better-than-your-head hair. The you-look-like-that-furry-Star Wars creature hair. The hair that I couldn't figure out how to pull a pair of yoga pants over. It was terrifying!

Then I woke up, rubbed my legs and sighed. Because I had just shaved my very hairy (although not as hairy as my dream's legs) the night before. Whew!

A Generation of Ungrateful Parents

A new home comes with new schools and consequently a new PTO. At a recent meeting, this new PTO discussed the upcoming Holiday Mart.

Do you remember Holiday Marts from when you were young? I totally do! My elementary school would put out all the trinkets - necklaces, mugs, note pads, pens, little plaques, and toys. I remember walking past the tables, making notes about what items I'd like to buy for my mom and siblings. Then returning with my envelope of money, showing my math to my teacher for how my budget would work. The thrill of excitement when I took my wrapped gifts home and placed them under the tree. How awesome it was when Christmas morning arrived and I truly had surprise presents for each member of my family.

My mom cherished those gifts. She wore the fake gem necklace and earrings occasionally, but even when she wasn't wearing them, I knew exactly where she kept them in her favorite jewelry box with her other favorite jewelry. I distinctly remember the World's Greatest Mom key chain I gave her, with a drawing of a woman wearing a crown in the center. It was always on her key chain, with her everywhere she went.

When my mom passed away, I inherited these precious items. No, they didn't cost a lot of money, but yes, they are precious. Why? Because of my mom's attitude. She was grateful for my gifts, for the time I took to consider what special item I would give to her - but most simply, because it was from her daughter.

So imagine my surprise when this new PTO expresses their very poor views about hosting a Holiday Mart for the kids. Oh, for sure they want all the vendors to come for THEM. The fun crafty booths, make-up and jewelry stuff, and yummy smelly candle stuff. Oh yes, all of that, they want. But a section for the kids? To buy what they called 'a bunch of junk'? No way! Instead, let's entertain the kids with mani-pedis and coloring pages while the parents shop. The principal even said she's received letters from students who said they wouldn't go to the Holiday Mart because it was a bunch of crappy junk.

Ungrateful parents whose terrible attitudes are raising ungrateful children.

Do these parents not see the value in their children learning budgeting skills? Or building their self-esteem when they surprise mom or dad with a gift they chose all on their own? Of learning to be independent?

No, apparently these children hear their parents calling the gifts 'junk' and a 'waste of money'. Shame on the parents who don't find joy from these precious opportunities and gifts from their children.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The worth of a gift comes from the receiver appreciating the giver's love and desire to give. It's not equal to the number on the price tag.

My cupboards are full of Queen Mom and Dad's the Best mugs. I have lots of glowy pens and multi-functioning tools with Awesome Dad emblazoned on the side. On my kids' beds are the stuffed animals they've purchased for each other.

Where did these fun items come from? Why, yes, our previous school's Holiday Mart. One day, those mugs will be passed down to my kids as gifts when they have their own children. Do you think they'll appreciate that Mom and Dad gave them such meaningful gifts? Or do you think they'll be looking for the price tag?

I'm confident the only thing running through their minds will be the memory of Mom and Dad unwrapping the gift one long-ago Christmas morning.

Rediscovering Myself and My Blog

Last month, I compiled the first year of my blog into a nifty book. It was fun and also a bit sad. I read those sassy, thoughtful posts and wondered "What happened? How did my blog go from the 'real' me to so stifled and blah?"

For weeks, I considered when blogging stopped being fun to kick off my day to a chore, something I dreaded, but felt obligated to do. Did life become too busy and blogging was one thing too many on my to-do list? Did something discourage me?

As I considered the past eight years, one thought stuck out in my mind.

I went from being ME to being neutral.

I set aside my sass, my opinions of right and wrong, what I loved or hated and instead went into middle-ground mode. And let me just say, the middle-gound sucks. In a big way.

So, this is me, reclaiming my blog, reclaiming my throne as the Queen of the Clan. I'm going to write for me, myself and I. The stuff I love, funny things that happen in life, profound moments and why they are so significant to me.

What you won't find on my blog - no more platitudes, no more blah blah blah.

Yeppers, just good old Danyelle. 

I hope you enjoy having me back.