You’re So Extra

It’s the weekend, and my daughter is at her Dad’s.

You would think, I’d be used to this by now.

When we lived an hour away, it felt like she was far away. Since we moved, she is now 10 minutes away, but somehow that makes it a bit more difficult. I want to meet her for coffee, but I respect their time together on the weekends.

silence

The silence of her being away is deafening. Embrace it.

I bought her favorite flowers earlier this week, and put them in a vase. I told her, “It’s difficult to make the heavy-headed Sunflower stand up, so I cut them short, and added some filler.” She looked at the greenery I used inquisitively, and I shared, “Oh, it’s just something I found growing in the yard.”

She burst into laughter and said, “Mom! You’re so extra!”

extra

I usually spend time on the weekends doing the extra’s, but this weekend, I’m spending time on me. I value the word, ‘weekend’. We are nearing the end of another week, so it’s time to refresh, and realign our souls for a new week.

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I spent money yesterday that I wouldn’t normally spend.

To justify this purchase, I reminded myself that it was going to be a quiet weekend at home, and I would have spent at least $30, if not more, at the Farmer’s Market. It was raining yesterday, and the FM was closed, so this reasoning works.

Sometimes is hard to spend money on something frivolous when you have a spending limit. When my daughter gets home, and sees new candles burning, she will ask, “Did you eat this weekend?’ I have been known to choose coffee, flowers, and candles over food, without her supervision.

Yesterday, I ducked into a shop to get out of the rain, and they had a huge display of Tyler Candles. These smell divine! I was standing there gazing at the selection, when the sales lady asked if I had tried ‘the wash.’ On the other side of the wall of candles stood more products made by Tyler. They have expanded into laundry detergent.

glamorous

I envisioned washing our sheets with this. My love for these candles had me picturing going to sleep, wrapped in a candle fragrance! This set came with three *votive candles, and two pretty holders. That my friends, is beyond extra!

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Weekend Plans: Breathe, Pause, Repair your Universe, Proceed.

*Tip for today: Before placing a votive candle in the holder, pour a little water in first. Just to cover the bottom. Once the candle has completed it’s burn time, and is ready to be discarded, it will pop right out of the holder. Plus, if you forget to blow it out before leaving the house, it will extinguish itself once it reaches the water in the bottom.

However, I don’t recommend tempting fate this way.

Single Mom Syndrome

Money is a huge factor for a single Mom. We often stay in an unhealthy relationship for financial security. That is highly overrated. When you become unhappy enough, you will find a way out. Be ready to walk through some fire though.

bucketsofwater

You let go of what you have, to get what you want.

My daughter and I had each other, and that was enough.

Her father is still a very materialistic person, but I let that shit go! We simplified when we left, and took only our favorite things. We had so much stuff to choose from, you couldn’t tell anyone had moved out. We still have those foundational pieces, but our tastes are changing.

Since moving into our new home, people said, “You need to download the Nextdoor app.” I took a look at it, but didn’t like how it showed your address. You can take your house number off, and it reveals only your street. Being a single Mom, try to protect our exact location. The app is a fun way to connect with neighbors, and buy/sell things.

We haven’t bought a piece of furniture in years, but I spent the weekend rearranging our living room. I read articles on ‘How to make the most of small spaces.” Oh yes lovely. The houses we’ve shared since, are less than 1,000 square feet.

A whole new level of togetherness.

When you move into a new home, you sit things where you think they belong. As you settle in, you make it a home. We have been here since January, so it’s time to fine tune it.

table

Our new addition, and I’ve been staring at it for days.

I learned the hard way, don’t buy things to add to your life because you like it. It’s no longer just you, it’s all about us.

This piece already had some things going for it.

  1. It is my daughters favorite brand. (Threshold)
  2. It’s a good combination of both of us. She leans toward modern, and sleek. I enjoy wood for warmth.
  3. The price was $40, and it looks brand new.
  4. Finding it on Nextdoor, the local was nearby.

We went to go look at it together. I can tell by her face, if she likes something, or not. She liked it and said, “If it makes you happy, then get it!” It fit perfectly, and we both like it.

We are trying to decide what to sit on top. I’m thinking of framing some photographs she has on her phone.The drawers will remain empty for a while, but there is one for each of us. What would you display, and use it for?

Watch and Learn

My daughter said, “Wow! Why do you look so nice?”

Me: “It’s camouflage for the way I really feel today.”

She is used to seeing me in pajama pants until noon because I work from home. She has learned, “Put on an outfit that feels good, and the mood will catch up!” One of the best decisions I ever made was working from home.

I gave birth to this girl at 35, and was in ‘Success’ mode.

I placed an ad in the local newspaper for a Nanny, and began interviewing. The woman who stole our hearts, and became our Nanny was only there for a little while, but she is still a part of our lives to this day. She reads this Blog.

Monday, my daughter needed to drop her Jeep off for service. She called and asked if I could pick her up, and I happily agreed. We ran some errands while it was being serviced. At some point of getting in and out of the truck, she missed a call from the service center. She stopped to call them back, and here is what I overheard.

Her: Hello. This is (first name), (last name). I just missed a call from James? Is he available?

They handed the phone to James, and she sat and listened.

Once the conversation was complete, she thanked him for his time, and wished him a good day. Her Jeep was ready.

girl

I used to say those words. When she was little, my office had a secret door adjoining her bedroom. It never failed, she would come bursting through every time I was on the phone. She knew if she waited until I hung up the phone, she would have my full attention, so she waited close by.

That is what I did. Talked to people on the phone, helping them build a business. If I helped enough people be successful, my success would automatically come.

I surrounded myself with the Zig Ziglar’s of the world.

zig

I created scripts for people to use and learn phone skills.

Nowadays, people don’t answer the phone, and most of those calls are automated. Just now, my phone began ringing, and I glanced over not recognizing the number, so I didn’t answer it. They left a voicemail, so I listened to the beginning of it, and it was a recorded message, about a home based business opportunity. I hung up within seconds. People spending money on phone lists, and automation are missing out on the best part of the opportunity! The personal connection.

Building relationships, builds a business.

Listening to my daughter make that phone call, and handling herself so beautifully reminded me of all of those scripts. Not only was she watching, she was listening.

Doing life with this girl, has been my greatest success of all.

I Want Normal

The life my daughter and I share is not normal. We care for one another at a very high level. We watch each other, and learn how to do so. We are now down to the details.

I bought a new toothbrush holder, and noticed the openings are large enough to hold more than a toothbrush, so I put my razor in it. I recently noticed she had followed suit. Her razor now stands beside her toothbrush too.

showme

To love one another like God loves us. Unconditionally.

tulips

Fresh flowers in the house as often as possible is normal.

crepes

She makes her famous crepes when I need some extra care.

At a young age I told her, “Everything has it’s place. When you take something from it’s place, you need to put it back when you’re done using it.” We know where things are.

When my daughter visits her Dad for the weekend, I want it to feel like home when she returns. Her room is never messy, but I go in and change her sheets, open the blinds, add fresh flowers if we have them, and light a candle.

I don’t have to ask her to do things. She knows when she’s away from home, this feels good to come home to. She has been shown to uncover the beauty.

When I am gone for the day, she goes in my room and makes the bed, opens the blinds, and lights my candle. Not because I asked, she just knows what that feels like.

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She surpasses me. I didn’t take time to make cookies throughout her life, but she knows I love them. After a long day on Thursday, I walked into the house to these.

cookies

And yes, I made a coffee pour over to go with them!

Our kids are watching. What are we showing them?

My daughter is now watching me stretch and grow myself. This year, I’ve been doing the hard stuff. Cleaning house in more ways than one, but that will be another Blog.

My daughter has gifts and talents to make this world a better place. We are called to use everything God has given us, so I am walking through every door He is opening.

lourie

All of the notes I left for her when she was a child have come full circle. She left this on the fridge for me last week.

proudnote

I told her, “I am happy for us, that this is normal.”

Be a Friend

Going with the flow is sometimes difficult.

It’s so worth it if you can allow it to happen.

I was sitting at my desk, planning parts of my day. I had typed up a message, but hadn’t hit send yet, when my daughter walked up, and stood at my desk. I looked up at her, and grinned, knowing that she wanted something.

She asked if I could take her to pick up her car from the shop. It was ready. I deleted the message, and said yes. I had been playing message tag with this gentleman all week, over a piece of furniture I have for sale. It can wait.

life

My daughter gave me this for Christmas.

Opening the pantry in search of a bottle of water, I find one bottle of water sitting there. My daughter and I drink water by the case! She left the last one for me. It’s what we do. We leave the last of something for the other person, but I have been known to become selfish over the last piece of chocolate.

Unfortunately, my daughter believes it’s normal how we treat one another. She expects the same treatment from friends, but they weren’t raised in our home. She wants to make new friends since our move, and she asked me yesterday, “Mom? How do you make friends?”

I believe we show people how we want to be treated.

My daughter went to one of her favorite coffee shops, to take a break from studying. Her friend texted her, she shared her location, and invited her to meet. Her friend walked into the coffee shop, and sat down with her.

Twenty minutes later, my daughter was home.

Their meetup was brief, because my daughter cut the visit short. She revealed her friend was on her phone the entire time,  and actually face-timing another friend. After several minutes of seeing that her friend had no plan of getting off her phone, she excused herself, and came home.

Maybe our standards are too high in today’s world?

Yesterday, my daughter received a text from a friend. He was hosting a Bible study, and asked her to come. I encouraged her to go, not only for herself, but to be there for him. She was apprehensive not knowing the other people she may see, but wanted to see her friend.

I believed she saw her answer to her question from earlier in the day. The best way to make friends, is to be a friend.

Let It Snow

It’s snowing on WordPress, and in my home.

My daughter loves Christmas. It’s the most beautiful time of the year! A couple of years ago, I took a picture of a Vintage Shoppe’s window display of snow. It was so cute, I showed it my daughter this week. Well…..she ran with the idea.

Once we figured out how it was made, she ran to the store for fishing line, and cotton balls. She fluffed each cotton ball, and cut a strand of fishing line to her desired length. She passed the line through an eye of a needle, and stuck the needle through the ball. It fell down the line and stopped at the knot. She tied another knot where she wanted the next cotton ball to land, and continued on.

letitsnow

Photo cred Semloh Photography

She found it very soothing to make, and I find snowballs hanging in the windows a soothing addition to our home.

This picture displays only one window she did. Yep…every window in out home will have snow by the time she’s done.

We are moving into a new home at the end of the year, so while I’m wrapping my mind around what needs to leave this house, she is adding more to it. This would stress some people out, but I’m gonna let her have at it, and let it snow.

The End Result

My daughter and I went to Houston this week, and saw Noah Gundersen. It was a lovely venue, and Noah is not very well-known yet, so the crowd was small and intimate. Getting there was a struggle. We exited the interstate, were stopped by a red light in a major intersection in downtown Houston, and the car stopped running. It completely died.

She starting crying, but I remained calm, and called AAA.

I was grateful to be with her. God does this all the time in our lives. When one is weak, the other is strong. When she is having a low day, I am on top of the world, and vice versa.

Our circumstances didn’t look very good, but God is faithful. He gives us the tools we need to get out of any situation we’re in. A man pulled up beside us, got out of his van putting himself in danger, wanting to push her car out of the busy intersection. AAA showed up at that point, got us out of the intersection, and the man went back to the safety of his van. We had to stay calm and trust the journey.

Today’s reading in Jesus Calling says, “Put more energy into trusting Me, and enjoying my presence. Don’t let your well-being depend on your circumstances. Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises.” November 5th.

The car was towed to a mechanic, and there was a lady there having her tires checked. She noticed us stepping out of the cab of the tow truck, and asked if she could give us a ride to the hotel. She was a delight, and it surprised her when I gave her a big hug for the rescue. I don’t believe she was accustomed to being hugged, so this small act of kindness caught her off guard. I was grateful for her, and to be standing safely in front of the hotel. It was beautiful!

It took longer to get through our circumstances than it did to drive to Houston. Our hotel was 5 miles away from where the car broke down, but we couldn’t leave. Plus, the Astros had won the World Series the night before, so it was chaotic! What we face may look daunting, but give it a little wink, and trust the journey. The end result is worth it.

noah

Front and center with Noah.

In Six Months

Once you have Cancer, it doesn’t completely leave your mind.

I said no to going to see my Breast Surgeon. Instead, I called the imaging center, and asked them to send the films to my Oncologist. If I had to choose who to go see, it would be him. His office called and he agreed with the Radiologist. He’s not concerned, but wants to see me in six months.

6months

When I left the imaging center, those words were playing on a loop in my mind. “See you in six months.” How would I live my life the next six months? What have I been putting off doing? I listened to my heart the whole way home.

As soon as I walked through the door, I bought concert tickets to see Noah Gundersen.

My daughter has seen him in concert, and he is one of our favorite artists. He’s not very well-known, so the tickets are cheap. She wants me to see him in concert, and she asked for these tickets as part of her birthday in August.

She had a priority list of things she’d like for her birthday, and we did everything on her little list, except the tickets. He’s playing in Houston, so that meant spending the night. I called my co-worker, and asked if I could work her hours. She said yes, so I made the extra money to enjoy the upcoming concert, and we will spend the night in Houston.

My daughter thought maybe I cancelled my appointment because of money. I said, “No darling. We have the money, but we are going to see Noah, and cherish the moment.”

 

Digging the Details

My daughter has left to spend the weekend with her father. I won’t see her until Tuesday, the day of my appointment. He has a busy weekend planned for them, but before she left I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing this weekend.” She responded with, “The possibilities are endless.”

I’m sitting in the middle of my bed, watching it rain.

The dogs are laying on the floor beside me, just to be near.

It made my heart happy that she said, “The possibilities are endless.” That whatever I chose to do over the weekend would improve our lives in some way. I’ve begun this new thing while she is away by looking at the details of our life, and making adjustments. Just tweaking what we already have.

This began in a big way by moving furniture. Using the most of our small space, and helping things flow. Those things are noticeable, but now it’s down to the finest detail.

This has been going on for months, so now when she walks in the front door, there is a  pause to look around. There may be a picture that has been moved, or curtains swapped from another room. The last time she was away, I bought a new shower curtain liner. You would think, no one would notice a new piece of plastic while showering, but she did.

Yesterday, I gave our bathroom some attention. While cleaning the toilet, I looked at the bowl brush, and decided it had seen better days, so in the trash it went. Yes, life should be beautiful all the way down to the tiolet bowl brush! We now have a new bowl brush. Will she notice?

daily-life

Full of Stars

When my daughter was small, I imitated Martha Stewart.

She doesn’t remember much of the grand lifestyle, but the one thing she remembers, and misses, are the stars on the Christmas tree every year. I find it humourous this would be the one thing to stick with her. The stars were made of paper, and sold in a kit created by Martha Stewart.

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During my mammogram appointment, they asked me to lay on a table for the sonogram. I did so, and looked up to a view of paper flowers hanging from the ceiling. They were simply beautiful, and reminded me of these stars.

When I left my marriage, Christmas ornaments were not a priority, so the box of stars were left behind. There is no telling where they are today, but the great thing about a material object is… It can eventually be replaced.

A year ago, I searched, found and purchased a kit on Etsy.

It has been 20 years since making them, so I had to follow the instructions, and refresh my memory. It went smoothly until the part came where the paper stands up in fours points. I couldn’t get it to do it, and it was very frustrating.

God placed people in my life who taught me patience.

I’ve been sitting in the middle of my bed making stars.

My daughter will have a Christmas tree full of stars again.

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