Barbed Wire

Usually people come up with grand goals on New Years, most of which they will discard by the end up the month. I might set New Years goals as well, but right now Christmas is inspiring me to do better.

I need to be kinder. I will always have a backbone of steel. I am still the Lisa that people know and love (or hate). I will, however, try to be kinder to people in a variety of settings. I need to restrain my tongue basically. That doesn’t mean I will accept abuse. It may seem that I reiterate that entirely too much, but past experiences have taught me to stand strong. There are many wolves who seek to devour, to destroy.

I need to draw closer to the good people in my life, many of whom I have been distrustful of, and occasionally hostile too. I need to get into fewer political arguments. I will vote my conscience and you will vote yours. Unless the setting is designed for debate, I will stay out of it. That doesn’t mean I will hide what I think, but there is no need to be aggressive about it.

I need to emanate goodness. Sometimes people show me that goodness. I would rather be like them.

My life is cleaner now. It is time for a change. My circumstances have changed, and I no longer need as much acerbic language and a heart behind a wall.

This may allow me to be more myself than I ever have been in my life. I don’t believe I have to live as an emotional refugee behind barbed wire, shooting off proverbial guns anymore. I want to be the person I should be. I want God to look at my life and be pleased.

I want to make people happy. I need to learn to trust, though it goes against everything in me. Everyone needs someone they can count on to care for them, and I want friends and strangers alike to feel they can come to me.

If you need help, whether it is words of encouragement or company in the hard, glittery nights of winter, call me or come to my house. Text me or send me a message on Facebook. If you need anything else, reach out. There are so many people I wish I had gotten closer to, but shyness and emotion got in the way.

I am going to try hard. If you see something in me that crosses the line between opinionated and harsh, tell me. If you see a lack of charity in me, call me out. Whether you are someone I hang out with now, or an old friend or schoolmate, reach out to me for any reason at all. Don’t be shy.

This may be a long road with difficulties and stumbles, but I am diving in to do my best. Not just for me, but more importantly for God and the people around me. I have tried to be gentler in the past, but this is so much more than that. This is about taking my heart and burning away the dross to get to the gold.

Halloween

Our little dinosaur went trick or treating. It was well below freezing. I love cold weather, but still that’s a lot for a kid. She got tons of loot though.

I have two novels in verse that I’m working on. It is rough going. I am not a novelist, and poetry in such a long format is an interesting challenge for me.

This morning, while I still could, I got a massage. My glutes and shoulders were awful, and I know why.

Our sofa, which is less than a year old, is falling apart. Back rest cushions are saggy. Worst of all, the cushions you sit on are sinking so badly that we list like ships. Right now we have boards under the seats. This can’t go on forever.

Family and Friends

Last night my best friend visited from the East Coast. We ate pizza and pie, and played many, many rounds of Apples to Apples. It was so good to see her. Craig was home, and her husband was traveling with her, so we got to have a good time as couples too.

She brought lovely gifts for Angelica, including her very first cross necklace.

It is always good to see your best friend.

This coming weekend we have more visitors. Angelica’s grandparents are coming to visit for the weekend to celebrate Angelica’s 6th birthday. We are looking forward to it.

We just visited my Uncle Jerry recently, so this Fall has been a wonderful season of family and friends. Despite the difficulties I have had for the past few months, I feel blessed.

Lab, Summer

This morning I finally made it to the lab to get tests done. The doctor wanted to run several tests, so they drew five vials of blood. I know from the paperwork he’s testing at least 10 things. I also had to do a test where you breathe into a bag, drink a weird drink, wait 15 minutes, and breathe into another bag. This is to test for certain stomach ulcers. I had to bring Angelica with me because this was the only morning that worked for me all week, and I couldn’t get the babysitter for today. Of course Angelica was extremely well-behaved. She asked if her Bible was allowed inside, and then brought one of her little Bibles with her to the waiting room.

I was glad that they were able to get the blood for me without too much trouble. I am usually a pretty hard stick. The first time she tried she had to dig around and it didn’t work. She had that long needle just moving around. I hate that feeling. But on the second try she got it on the other arm.

Shortly after I came home the really nice girl who cleans for us came.

Angelica has been playing non-stop with a friend since we got home. We got home before noon. We’re approaching five. She’s been playing all day.

School starts in a few weeks! We are coming up on August and everything is getting so real. It felt pretty real when we toured the school and then when Angelica had her evaluation and Craig and I did the parent interview, but it’s amazing to think that before I know it I will be dropping her off. Time is running out.

This spider is really pissing me off. It keeps trying to spread its silk in the air around my back porch swing. That’s not okay. I keep finding fresh string but I can’t seem to find the spider himself.

It is some sort of weird spider season. When I look out the front windows I can see spider threads flying down the street. Some species of spider do disperse their babies that way. The little babies propel with silk and just glide through however many feet or even miles they can before landing on something to build a nest. I just really don’t want to get one stuck on me. I’ll have a heart attack.

Allowance, Friends, Her Future

Angelica has been doing work to earn an allowance lately. Fundamentally she has to have a perfectly clean room at the end of the night. If she does, she earns a quarter. This morning she is earning an extra quarter by bringing a load of her father’s clean clothes upstairs. Naturally she has to take more than one trip. I appreciate it because getting up and down the stairs is a lot and the fewer times I do it a day the better. She is really enjoying earning money for different things.

Neighborhood kids have been coming over to play constantly. It gives me joy to see her play with other kids and have so much to look forward to! Lately our home has been fun central with kids circulating through. Sometimes one of the girls is here for hours. Angelica is so happy!

Academically Angelica has really been blossoming. Her love for science bodes well for her academic future. She wants to go through the books we have. She also loves to watch video clips about a variety of subjects. YouTube kids is a great way for her to learn and see different things. I really like that app. It’s great for parents because you can add what channels you allow your child to watch.

I really wonder what Angelica will be someday. Will she be a scientist? Storm chaser? Video producer? There are so many things that she could be. It’s fascinating to watch her bloom. That’s the thing with kids. If you plant a rose bush you know you’re going to get roses. When you make a baby you have no idea what you’re getting. What is my daughter becoming? Whatever it is I can’t wait to see. She might be a hairdresser or an artist or own a grocery store. She can do anything. It’s all dependent on her aptitude, interest, and work ethic. This is one of the joys of being a mother. Giving your child the resources and then allowing them to become what they are meant to be.

Lovely Day

Angelica and I had a great morning. I got some housework done while she played. Then we went on a playdate with some friends to Chik fil A.

Right now she is watching Minions. Soon, we’ll go grocery shopping.

I want to do whatever I can to make the most of the rest of June and then July. She will be starting school before I know it. I can hardly fathom just how much I will miss her. It wells up in my mind sometimes and I have to think of something else or I will cry. These years before a child is school age are absolutely precious.

We were planning to homeschool, as I have written before. But for now we have decided to send her to school. She will love it. I will cry. But I am happy for her. I want her to make friends and build good memories.

Today I was told that there is actually an amusement park around here. There’s one near Colorado Springs that’s a winter-themed one, and then there’s one up in Denver that’s kind of like a Six Flags. If Craig has a weekend day that he wants to take to do that it would probably be a lot of fun for Angelica. I’ve become a boring old lady. A lot of rides make me really sick or give me headaches. Because of that, I don’t really want to take her by myself because at her age there’s probably a lot of rides that she’ll need me for and I’m not much use. When my husband and I were dating he wanted to ride the same rollercoaster repeatedly. There was no line, somehow, so we got to go on Apollo’s Chariot a bunch of times. And then… I threw up all over him. We got off the ride and were walking around the park and I felt queasy. And then I just threw up everywhere. I threw up on him. I threw up on myself and the ground and the restroom building. Everything. I swear that if it was in a 10 Mi radius I threw up on it.

I want to make sure she gets swimming lessons this summer too. I haven’t wanted her to take lessons in the winter because it does get rather cold here and I remember what it’s like to come out of the pool and put your clothes on and go out into the cold air. Maybe I’m sissy but that wasn’t fun to me and I don’t see the necessity of her doing it. We don’t live by the ocean anymore so learning to swim is not as urgent. However, it is still important and I think once she gets past fear so really enjoy it. In future summers I would love to just be able to take her to the pool in the afternoon and let her play. There are lessons on base but from what everyone says, and from what our experience was this past spring, the classes fill up within an hour or two of opening. It’s hard to catch that. There’s another swimming place around here for kids that I’m going to look into. I’m also going to look into private instruction. She really does need to learn and I hope I can get that done in July.

Great Trip

We got home Saturday night from a trip back to the East Coast to visit family and friends. We went to TN, GA, and NC. Angelica spent time with her great grandfather, and then her grandparents in Georgia. Craig and Angelica went with my inlaws to Easter services. I WAS TOO TIRED TO EVEN GO! Part of this was that the hotel pillows were truly the most horrible pillows I have ever laid my head on. I ended up sneaking out at 330 to go to Walmart and buy some at 4 am. I had already tried folding a bath towel onto my hotel pillows to no avail.

We spent time in North Carolina and Virginia visiting a friend – relaxing, talking, shopping, eating, spending time by the water.

In Tennessee

We arrived in Tennessee last night for Craig to see his grandfather and Angelica to see her great grandfather. We had salad and pizza for dinner, and then hung around in the sunroom for awhile.

This morning I am relaxing at the hotel while everyone else has breakfast and hangs out at my grandfather inlaw’s house. I needed the extra sleep and the time to myself. I am so introverted that it is hard if I have no place to retreat to.

We drove for two days to get this far, and that was difficult. I spent a good portion of the ride to TN not speaking and/or with my head in my hands. It has been exhausting.

It’s always really frustrating whenever we travel to see my inlaws. While it is true that I have anxiety and mood swings regularly at home, people I see while I’m traveling usually get the worst of me. I don’t do well with travel, especially if that travel is combined with socializing or big cities. So on top of the craziness that I already have, my relatives see me even crazier because I’m not meeting up with them until I’ve been traveling for two or three days. We took a road trip back in the fall and even though there was no socializing in that and we stayed in very quiet areas almost the whole time, I felt like crap part of the way back and when we actually were in the city for a while I got anxiety. It was the trip of a lifetime and I absolutely loved it, but it was a very different sort of trip.

Basically, my relatives see the worst of me. Even when I traveled last summer across the country to see my own side of the family I had to spend hours by myself in the room that I lived in when I went to high school. Even among my own side of the family I could not deal with full days of socializing or going places.

Hopefully my stomach settles too, because alongside a sinking feeling in my chest and being so introverted that I feel like I’m crawling into my own body this morning, I’m nauseous too. Knock on wood it’ll pass soon. It might have been the breakfast that I ate cold.

It isn’t that I don’t look forward to seeing my in-laws. It’s just that it’s hard to travel and it’s hard to do a whole lot of concentrated socializing at once.

Tight feeling in my chest. Anxiety.

Craig is 35!

Craig is 35 years old today. I am so blessed to have this man in my life. This morning was the present opening. He opened a bunch from me. I basically bought everything on his wishlist. Then he opened a lovely air fryer cookbook from his parents. His Mom also sent me a personalized sketchbook just as a treat.

Lovely Day, Free Night

Today has really been a beautiful Friday. Unfortunately Craig has to work a 12-hour day, so I saw him off by 10 in the morning and he won’t be home until it least 10 this evening. I feel bad for him having to work so many hours. But soon after he left Angelica and I went to Target and she got to pick out some new clothes. We grabbed some household items while we were there too.

After that we went to Red Lobster for a mommy daughter date. We talked about all sorts of things, but especially monsters and unicorns. Angelica really educated me. There are monsters that are microscopic, and there’s a unicorn on Pikes Peak.

When we were finished eating we went home and it was time to do some serious housework. Angelica decided to be a buddy helper the whole time. She helped me scoop lavender into a new container to make the kitchen smell nice. She helped put away the towels that I folded. She put the detergent in the laundry machine. She put her clothes away in her drawers. She picked stuff up. Angelica was a busy little bee. Angelica wiped down counters with Lysol wipes as well. She helped me take out the trash and the recycling. And this is just a partial list. My buddy helper has been a very good helper today.

We worked on two collages together. I bought a bunch of white poster board awhile back, and gradually I’ve been putting together a collage. Every day or two I add a couple of more materials, whether it is a sticker or a piece of cloth or something. I even have some curling ribbon on there. She helped to add to that one, and then I started a new one that’s going to be just stickers of different kinds. She gave me a hand adding the stickers where they were supposed to go. It was nice to have my little artist-in-residence help me with my projects. One day she won’t be in residence, and I will really miss her.

Part of the afternoon was spent hanging out on the porch swing in the backyard. Now we are unwinding some more and in a little while the babysitter will be here. My Friday night is free and I get to decide what to do with it.