Wednesday, July 11, 2018


I’ve tried so hard to have a more positive attitude lately, but the truth is I seem to have only succeeded in tamping down my feelings until they explode at some seemingly small incident. Life is fun like that.

God has been so good to me—not that I’m wealthy, or that I never have problems, disappointments or heartaches—but He has carried me through difficulties I was certain I could never make it through. And I have been blessed with a loving, hard-working, Christian husband (not that he’s perfect, just in case he’s reading this), and wonderful children and grandchildren.


As much as I love my daughters and grand/daughters, spending 40+ years from age 19 to 60 raising them has been a J.O.B.  And one that isn’t ending any time soon.

They are really good people, and people I cherish, but they are still human beings. And humans...all of us...can be challenging.

Imagine taking a job at age 19...not just any job, but one that requires you to be actively working, or at least on-call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year...for FORTY YEARS.

Every day you show up to work, and instead of a paycheck you are rewarded with criticism. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Often, by more than one person. Nothing you do is ever good enough, and usually it’s just WRONG. You can’t seem to ever figure out what anyone wants because that seems to change with each sunrise. So you try to master the fine art of mind reading, but you fail at that, too. 

You fail at EVERYTHING. 

Everyone seems to be unhappy and it’s somehow your fault. EVERYTHING is your fault. You’re the most unimportant, insignificant creature ever created, but somehow everyone else’s happiness rests on your weary shoulders.

I want to resign. Or retire. Or at least recharge. But those are all rather difficult with a still-active 24/7/365/40+ year commitment.

Maybe that’s the answer. Or so I’ve been told by my employers. 

I need to be committed. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mountains and Tides

Earlier today I began writing a post, excited to talk about how God has been working in my life lately. I also planned to mention the inevitability that difficult days would return from time to time.

And just like that, today became one of those days.

Before I could finish writing about how the tide seemed to be turning, a giant wave crashed over me. Once again I feel like I’m drowning.

The song I had already planned to share seems even more beautiful in light of this turn of events. Some days all we see are mountains looming ahead. Too often we let them obscure our view of God, who is waiting and able to move those mountains or to simply pick us up in His loving arms and carry us to the other side.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Masculine Birthday Card

I needed a masculine card and thought it was the perfect excuse to play with a new (to me) technique.

I used the stencil Burlap from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection along with texture paste to create the kraft cardstock base panel. The sentiment was created using the Straight Talk - Birthday die from Technique Tuesday along with a Spellbinders Nestabilities Large Deckled Rectangles die to create the rectangle onto which I stamped "wishes". I also cut a larger deckled rectangle from patterned kraft paper to place behind the sentiment, added a strip of vintage-looking patterned paper, then tied some jute twine around the entire panel and attached everything to a basic card base.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Graduation Shaker Card

I created this shaker card for my grand/daughter's middle school graduation. She is now finishing her sophomore year of high school. I'm a bit behind.

(I just realized that could be misconstrued. I'm not two years behind in making the card, just in posting.)

The cute little graduate and sentiment are from the Cricut cartridge Create a Friend. I added a cardinal from the cartridge 50 States to represent the school mascot.  I added lots of gold and red sequins to the shaker along with sky-themed paper for the background.

Now it's time to start working on her high school graduation card if I hope to have it finished by 2020. Look for the post around 2022.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Soccer Card

It's been a while since I've posted--so long, in fact, that I needed a "how-to" refresher!

No great creative masterpiece here, just a simple card I made for a young man halfway across the world. I love using my Cricut Explore to create cards to let others know that someone is thinking of them. Don't we all need that once in a while???

Images can be found on the following Cricut cartidges:

Soccer Ball - Life's a Party
Cloud - Hello Kitty Greetings
Grass - ZooBalloo

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Jar-Shaped-Shaker Birthday Card

Call it blind trust or whatever, but I habitually stick bulky cards in the mail believing they will reach their destination unscathed. Due to my life experiences I don't have much optimism left, but I was clinging to the hope that mail was somehow different, even sacred (rain, snow, sleet, hail...and all that jazz).

As usual I was wrong. So my cynicism remains intact, even if my cards don't.

I lovingly made this card and sent if off, only to later learn it didn't make it. (I think the recipient eventually got a notice from the post office that it had postage due--whoops! Embarrassment is another constant in my life. And this time it was all on me.)

The cutout and decorative elements were created using a Jillibean Soup die set and matching stamps. I created the shaker pouch with the We R Memory Keepers Fuse tool and filled it with sequins and small beads. The sentiment was stamped onto a banner shape and adhered with dimensional foam. The final touches were a few sequins glued randomly and a cord tied into a bow and adhered to the neck of the "jar".

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sea Turtle Shaker Card

I had forgotten about this shaker card until last night when I saw the video that inspired me to create it. If you need some crafting inspiration, I suggest you check out Vicky Papaioannou on YouTube for papercrafting ideas and techniques. She's amazing!

I wish I had chosen paper that was a little more vibrant, but I tend to live a 20/20 hindsight sort of life. Oh well. It is what it is. And what it is this time is a cheap knockoff.

To cut the images, I used Cricut Design Space and my Explore machine along with images from the following Cricut cartridges:

Disney/Pixar-Best of Pixar - fish
Children Around the World - sea turtle
Stretch Your Imagination - wave frame  (I made some size adjustments to the wave frame so that it would fit my card base.)

I used my We R Memory Keepers Fuse tool to create the shaker pocket in an attempt to reduce the bulk since I was mailing the card. (Sadly, many of my cards never seem to reach their intended recipients, or come with postage due.) I added tiny beads (I'm sure there's a more specific name for them, but I have no idea what that might be) along with tiny sequins (again, no idea what they're actually called).

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Nothing Wasted

My younger grand/daughter, who was just a baby last time I looked, got her learner's permit to drive recently. The years really do fly by. They just don't always feel that way while you're living them.

Ashamedly, I complain a lot here on my blog about the stress of raising my grand/daughters through what should have been my golden years. Make no mistake-- I love both girls with all my heart (and I wouldn't hesitate to take this journey again). But they've perfected the art of frustrating me with one misguided action or another. And I never had a moment to recover from the exhaustion of the previous 20 years I spent raising children before I found myself back where I started. When I'm not frustrated or exhausted, I feel very fortunate that my husband and I have been able to raise them. Unfortunately, there are few moments when I don't feel either frustrated or exhausted...or both.

(Truthfully, I still feel fortunate most days, but that usually only happens late at night when that day's challenges are behind me and all is quiet.)

One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I didn't have the strength to fully embrace and enjoy the opportunity to raise these precious girls. I think it can best be compared to the following scenario: You have the chance to take a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses paid trip around the world (well, maybe not "all-expenses paid"'s been quite the costly adventure). But as much as you love the places you're visiting and the people you're traveling with, you're also suffering from a debilitating disease that makes every day of the trip feel like a chore instead of a vacation. And every day some new challenge arises that creates extra work just to get from point A to point B. Instead of enjoying the journey, you wonder if it will ever end. And because you started the trip exhausted and barely able to move, it takes a toll on everyone around you, too. You love the destination, you love your companions...but it just wasn't the best time to make the trip.

Are we there yet???!!!

God gave me a great gift in allowing me to spend the past 19 years attempting to guide and nurture two girls I love dearly. Unfortunately, He gave me the gift when I was already old and tired. I'm not questioning God's timing, but as with other events He allows for His purposes it's sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees. But I'll keep praying for strength, regretting my failures, and loving these two girls even when they think they hate me. And I'll praise God because He wastes nothing, even if we do.

The sign says it all: Danger! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Gumball Machine Shaker Card

Sometimes my cards reach their intended recipients. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes I just don't know.

This one, I'm told, never made it.

I love shaker cards. They provide a nice, clean way of adding sparkle without messy glitter or time-consuming glitter glue (how many days does that stuff take to dry, anyway???) But quite often they either get destroyed by postal machines (I'm assuming) or, to my horror, sit in the post office with a big, ugly "postage due" notice, waiting for the addressee to come stand in line with money in-hand to retrieve a mystery package that the well-intentioned sender failed to stamp properly.

What a let-down that must be. ("I spent my afternoon in line and paid good money for this????") LOL. The trials of life.

And now, onto the card details.

 ("I spent my valuable time reading nonsense for this??????") Big LOL.

I used a sweets-themed stamp set from Jillibean Soup for the gumball machine and sentiment. The circle was cut from a nesting die set from Darice. And I used my We R Memory Keepers Fuse tool to create the shaker pouch that holds the sparkly bits, thinking that with less bulk my card would make it safely.

It didn't.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Thinking of You Card

Sometimes life deals us hardships, and that's when we need someone to remind us we aren't alone. I never want anyone to feel the pain of abandonment on top of whatever else they might be going through, so I like to use my simple cardmaking "talent" whenever possible to help someone through the tough times.

The design on this card was cut on my Cricut Explore using the Lacy Labels cartridge. I added a little twine under the label and put some sparkle in the flowers using glitter glue. It was a simple project, but I hope it reminded the recipient that someone cares.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Birthday, Teresa

Today my older sister, Teresa, turns 60. It's a bittersweet day because she has been in a vegetative state for 17 years, but as long as she's alive I won't stop asking God for a miracle. And if that isn't His plan, I pray He will give her comfort as long as she's here.

Teresa has loved giraffes since she was a teen, so I try to use them in her cards as much as possible. This giraffe was cut on my Cricut Explore using the cartridge Bits and Pieces, the tree was cut from the Heritage cartridge, and I hand-cut the grass along the bottom.

I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks to create the sunset background (or sunrise, if you prefer). I die cut the sun using my Sizzix Big Shot and a circle die, then backed it with shimmery paper. I used craft foam to create dimension between the sky and sun, but because I used a good bit of liquid glue to attach the front panel to the card base, I inadvertently caused a reaction with the distress oxide inks. (I tried to minimize the damage by adding a little more ink and pretending it was all intentional.)

I wanted to acknowledge Teresa's milestone birthday, but in a subtle way, so I simply stamped "60" in VersaMark ink on the tree trunk and embossed it with clear embossing powder.

As always, I really appreciate that you took a few moments to visit!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Simple DIY Sketch Pads

Last Christmas I made baskets of art supplies for my youngest grandchildren. I thought it would be more meaningful (and less expensive!) to make personalized sketch pads instead of buying them.

(The gifts were ready in a timely fashion; this blog post...not so much.)

Since the Christmas season is hectic enough already, I kept the designs simple. I cut front and back covers for each book from chipboard, then applied patterned paper to each surface. The inside pages were cut from white cardstock to be slightly smaller than the covers. The names were stamped using a simple alphabet stamp set and ink to match the cover papers. I used my Bind-it-All machine to punch holes in the top of all covers and inner pages, then bound each sketch pad with O-wires.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 18, 2017


I'll go ahead and put this out there (since it's impossible to hide)...I'm cracking under the pressures of life.

I've been accused of being the worst mother ever and an all-around horrible human being that no one wants to be around. If you've given your heart and soul and everything else you had to raise children, just let that sink in for a moment...

Funny, nobody can stand to be around me, yet they keep coming back. If I felt that way about someone, I assure you I would move heaven and earth to be able to stay far, far away.

If you don't have children you might not understand the frustration of never being able to plan five minutes ahead for anything. Children always need something. Or think they do.

Why don't I set them straight, you might ask? Refer to paragraph 2 above. If you've never been blamed for everything wrong with the world, you might not understand how that, combined with typical mommy-guilt, plays with your mind.

Yes, I've thrown another cup of coffee across the room today over what might seem minor to anyone else. Unless you've been raising children every day for the past four decades, all while giving up your hopes and dreams because nobody lives forever and you've been watching the years slip by, you might agree with paragraph 2. I beg you not to judge too harshly.

I'm simply a human being who has faults like every other human being. I love imperfectly. I try every day to be a better person...and fail miserably. I pray for help and forgiveness every night. I try to let go of the heavy baggage I carried into adulthood, but much like the children who suffered under my dictatorship, it always finds its way back into my home.

All I really need is some consideration. You want something from me? Try asking instead of expecting. Don't assume whatever you want is more important than whatever I'm trying to do. Yes, I'm old, but believe it or not I had things in this life I wanted to accomplish, and as important as you are to me...and as important as you think  you are, your desires don't always trump mine. Just be thoughtful of me once in a while. Contrary to the stories going around about me, I did put your needs ahead of my own in ways you'll never know.

There are still a few things I want out of life in the short time I have left. Please don't make me feel bad about that.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stamped Floral Card

I have a bad habit of wanting to try every craft I come across. YouTube videos created by those who have mad skills and make everything look easy are playing right into that desire. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found my talent. And I'm quickly running out of space to store my crafty tools...and the money to finance my habit. But I'm tenacious and refuse to let that stop me.

This card was created with Tim Holtz stamps and Spectrum Noir alcohol markers. Since the stamp set is sort-of a mix-and-match set, I have no idea if I got the parts matched up correctly. And I'm just learning to color (saddest statement ever made by a woman approaching 60). But I had fun anyway, and hopefully the card brightened the recipient's day. After all, aren't those the two most important reasons we craft???

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Day I Forgot My Mascara

I'm in no way what you'd call "high-maintenance", but I don't think there's been a day in over 40 years that I haven't worn mascara.

Until yesterday.

Every day of my life, unless I'm deathly ill, I put on at least a little bit of makeup. I guess I feel I owe my husband that much. (I'm not easy to live with.)

I had errands to run yesterday, and on the days I'm forced to leave the house I usually put a little extra effort into my appearance. I can't do much to make life on this earth more beautiful, but I can try not to frighten small children. (A little lot of makeup can cover a multitude of problems.) I thought I'd applied everything I needed--spackle, paint, and the like--but somehow I forgot mascara.

I swear I checked my appearance in the mirror before I left the house. At some point before the day was over, I'm sure I took another quick glance. And last thing before going to bed, I spent a ridiculous amount of time in front of the mirror removing my makeup so I could apply my magic potions that do all the heavy lifting while I sleep.

I never noticed something was amiss.

At around 4 a.m. I awoke with a headache...and an odd panicked thought. "Did I ever apply my mascara today???" (The mind is a very strange thing.)

So what exactly is going on in my post-menopausal brain??? Have the nearly 40 years I've been raising children taken a dangerous toll on my memory??? Is life on Planet Earth simply getting to be too much for me??? Am I losing my mind completely???

I might never know what happened yesterday, or why I had a 4 a.m. "awakening". But if I start to forget too many steps in my beauty routine, it could get real ugly real fast. It's hard enough to be called "Ma'am"; my fragile ego could never handle being called "Sir".

Monday, August 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Shaker Card

My 4-year-old granddaughter loves Disney princesses. No surprise there. What's actually very surprising (to me, at least) is that my oldest grand/daughter indicated she would be hoping for a similar card for her upcoming 19th birthday. I guess you never outgrow Disney. Or the fantasy of being a princess.

When I made this card I evidently wasn't thinking clearly because the last time I saw my precious young granddaughter she made it perfectly clear that her favorite princess is Sleeping Booty (which is so cute coming out of the mouth of a sweet 3-year-old that nobody in their right mind would correct her pronunciation).  Anyway, the card was already made before that recollection came to me, so Belle (the other "Booty") would have to suffice. In my defense, I am old...and very forgetful. And to my credit, I did remember her birthday.

I thought an interactive card would be fun, so I chose to make a shaker element by altering the rose design from the Cricut cartridge Disney Princess - Dreams Come True. From the same cartridge I cut Belle as large as possible and put her together as best I could (these character images have some tiny pieces!) I also cut several pink shapes to use as rose petals and put them inside the shaker along with sequins and other shiny small things. I then placed everything on a purple background because...well, nothing says "royal" better than the color purple!

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, August 24, 2017


It has been a rough couple of weeks.

My oldest grand/dog, who lived with us for the past 5 years, passed away. And my oldest grand/daughter, who has--for the most part-- been in our home since she was born 19 years ago, moved into her own place.

Although I knew both of these inevitabilities would be difficult, I was truly surprised at just how sad I feel.

The dog was old and had been in poor health for a while. We knew his time was coming soon, but I think we were all surprised at how quickly his condition deteriorated. It's still hard to accept that he's gone.

My grand/daughter has been trying to assert her independence for a while now (19 years, to be exact). I knew one of us had to move out for everyone's safety (I was just thankful it wasn't me.) But I never expected that it would be this hard to let her go.

I know she's a smart girl. I also remember how hard it is to enter adulthood unaware that you don't know even a small percentage of what you think you know, and oblivious to the ramifications your decisions can have on your life for years to come (and sometimes forever).

Oh, how I wish I could make all her decisions for her (yes, I do now know everything). But she would have no part of that when I had the legal right to rule her world; why would I expect her to allow it now?

Transitions are hard. But they're a fact of life. All I can do is remember that I've made it this far, bad decisions and all, so I have no reason to doubt that she can, too. And I'll pray for God to protect her while she's busy learning everything she thought she already knew.

The Princess, after having learned everything she'd ever need to know

The Dog, when he was still frisky enough to think he owned me

Friday, August 11, 2017

Foiled card with butterfly

I wanted to play around with foiling techniques...and get a much-overdue card made at the same time.

I used a Heidi Swapp art screen and screen ink to apply the floral design, which was then foiled using Minc reactive foil and a laminator. The butterfly is from the 3D Butterflies package of Minc ready-to-foil designs, which I also foiled and then attached to the card with dimensional adhesive squares.

And if you happen to notice an angled edge at the top of my card, I assure you it was straight when I photographed it. Magic, perhaps? Ahhh, the mysteries of life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Beach-Themed Card

I complain a lot about how difficult life can be. But I know two things: 1) I've been incredibly blessed...not because I deserve it but because of God's mercy and grace; and 2) other people have problems, too, and as a Christian I should strive to be like Jesus and show kindness to them.

I have no problem with the first thing on my list. I'll take God's grace anytime, anywhere (and I'm still standing only because of His mercy). But the second one is a struggle. I spend far too much time immersed in self-pity to be much like Jesus (but I hope I never stop trying).

Long story short, I wanted to show love to someone very special by sending an unexpected card.

The recipient loves the beach (as do I, and probably you, too), so the theme was an easy one. I cut the beach chair, flip flops, palm tree and umbrella on my Cricut Explore from the Life is a Beach cartridge, and the clouds were cut from the Sanrio-Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge. I tore pieces of cardstock to create the sand and water, then added some glitter to the blue cardstock to mimic ocean waves (not perfect, but once glitter is glued to paper it isn't easy to tweak if you aren't happy with the effect!) And on that note, I could have stamped the sentiment directly on the sky, but after my regrets about the glitter waves, I thought it would be prudent to stamp separately on vellum...just in case.

Thanks for visiting! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


It has just all become a bit too much. Can I catch my breath? Please? Does it really have to be one pile on top of another on top of another on top of another...???

And the worst part is nobody understands...or seems to try.  No matter how I try to explain exactly why I can't keep going like this, it just becomes another "rant" by the crazy old lady.

Forty years. On top of the first 19, which weren't exactly a walk in a suburban park.

What other job requires their workers to give heart, mind and soul for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year...for forty years??? No vacation, no days off, no pay. And retirement.

My pastor, who I'm sure works very hard and is under great pressure, enjoys many spiritual retreats throughout the year. He also has several associate pastors along with a bevy of other church employees who take some of the burden off him. He even took a sabbatical a couple of years ago where he traveled extensively for a few months. I don't begrudge him one moment of it because too much responsibility for too long is too much.

I haven't had a single day off in forty years. Oh sure, my husband and I have taken a few short trips...very few...over many, many years, but there were inevitably problems at home that found their way to us before the "vacation" was over. I've even come home to a few "burglaries" and assorted other fiascoes.

Every time I think God will get me through this and I can build up strength before the next pile heads my way, I find myself suffocating under the weight of something new.

I hate feeling this way. I love my family. I wish I had boundless energy...physical, emotional and spiritual. But my batteries never get recharged. I'm literally running on empty.

Where do I go from here? Where does one go when the pressure mounts but there is no release? Why can't those around look at their own contributions to the unbearable stress and be helpful for a change, or at least not judge? Why am I expected to be Supermom, but treated as if I'm worthless and have no right to live some aspect of my life as I choose?

Where the hell is common sense, kindness and personal accountability? Yeah, I need a break. And I fear the only one I'll get will come in the form of a breakdown.

At least when that day comes they'll have to find another place to put their pile.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Graduation Box Card

***Apologies upfront for the poor lighting. I'm still working on my papercrafting skills; once I've mastered those I'll work on my photography. You might want to take a seat while you wait.***

This graduation box card was made for a special girl using my Cricut Explore. (I did hand cut the box base using a template I found on the internet.)

The beauty of using the Cricut Explore machine along with the Design Space software is that I can easily search for the perfect images and utilize several cartridges with ease (which I did with this card). Here's the list of images and phrases I used:

Girl graduate - Paper Dolls Teen Scene
Owl - Recess
Graduation cap - Recess
Diploma - Recess
Congratulations - Lyrical Letters
Way to Go! - 3 Birds on Parade
You Did It! - Cake Basics
2016 - ? (Sorry, I added that last minute and didn't save the info, nor did my aging brain retain it for an entire year)

The other details I added were googly eyes for the owl, a tassel braided from thread and attached to the cap with a brad, and a few thin wires I coiled and added as festive filler.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

First-World Problems

Today I feel beaten down. I would say it has been a day filled with problems, but the truth is they are simply "first-world" problems. Nothing earth-shattering. It's just that there were a whole bunch of them. Before noon.

My life isn't so bad. It isn't what I wanted it to be and it isn't what I worked hard to achieve. But overall, I'm pretty blessed. That doesn't mean, however, that I can't feel like a lump of coal being pressured into becoming a diamond.  (I don't have a brilliant scientific mind, but I'm pretty sure that takes a long time and a lot of pressure.)

If you are feeling stressed, whether by first-world problems or by tragic circumstances, I hope this video will remind you that you aren't alone. Whether you are experiencing everyday problems or something more profound, remember that God wants to walk alongside you every step of the way. And when necessary, He will pick you up and carry you to where He wants you to be.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keep Moving

What do you do when you've reached your limit and just don't know how to keep going? (Yes, again.)

I've been raising children non-stop since I was 19. I'll be 60 next year.

I'll let you think about that for a moment...

Just when I thought the grand/children were starting to spread their wings and fly, the older one did a u-turn and moved back in. It doesn't appear I'll ever get a break.

So, what do you do when you feel you can't go on? I've tried crying. And screaming. And fantasizing about a carefree life far, far away (usually on a beach and alone). But none of that helped one bit.

All I can do is look toward Heaven, and pray, pray, pray... then pray some more. After all, that's what brought me this far. And I trust that God will help me move to wherever He wants me to go from here.

Judging from the past four decades, He will probably just send me to bed for some rest and refreshment so I can get up tomorrow and do it all again.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Time Marches On...Dreams Stay Behind

I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out.

I see other women my age (post-menopausal) who seem to accept who they are...more or less. Yes, they might try to "turn back the hands of time", but they seem to know who--and how old--they are. On the other hand, I've been struggling for years to reconcile the old woman I encounter in the mirror with the 45 year old lady I expect to see.

And now I know why.

Before I reached my 30th birthday, I thought I had my life-plan in place. My youngest child would finish college while I was still in my mid-forties, and there would most likely be many good, healthy years ahead for my husband and me to enjoy life as a couple. But before that day came we found ourselves with one grandchild to care for...and then another. And shortly thereafter it became necessary for us to become their legal guardians. Eventually it became apparent that this was no longer a temporary arrangement and we would remain parents until these two precious children were grown.


I love my grand/daughters dearly, I truly do, and for their sake I was happy to spend the past 18 years caring for them. But now I'm old, tired, and falling apart. And last week, just a few months after I allowed myself to once again entertain ideas of a carefree future, my dreams were...once again...shattered.

I thought we had the oldest grand/daughter on her way to adulthood. She seemed to have a plan and we thought she was on her way to achieving her goals, but then she dropped the bombshell that she wanted a do-over. Not only did she drop out of college (after we had paid for the entire year), but now she wanted to take a year off to figure things out.

When, oh when, will it be my turn? I have it figured out...if only everybody else would do what they're supposed to be doing!

And it isn't just the death of my dreams that has me upset. The stress of endlessly raising children--and not always agreeing on the best way to do that--is taking a toll on my marriage. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday, but by today there wasn't much to celebrate. I still love him and I think he still loves me, but I don't know how many more stress-fueled arguments we can endure while trying to deal with the seemingly-endless task of raising children into responsible adults.

Anyway, back to the old lady in the mirror. The much-younger lady inside put her life on hold at 45, and subconsciously must have expected to come back eventually and find things just the way she had left them.  But it doesn't work that way. My life stopped...but the clock didn't. And I'm not especially happy about it all. Not because I can't handle a little adversity or hard work, but because I have a difficult time dealing with the impact on my life from the immature, irresponsible, selfish choices of others.

Today was excruciatingly difficult. Tomorrow is looking like it might be worse. But I'll try to start fresh anyway, and pray that if it can't be better I'll at least make it through. God has brought me this far, and I have faith He'll carry me on from here. He might have to. I'm not getting any younger.

Just trying to finish the race.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

34 Years

Today my husband and I celebrated 34 years of marriage. There have been steep hills and deep valleys--and not much in between--but I wouldn't want to have climbed over and out with any other human companion.  And thankfully, God has been with both of us every step of the way.

It hasn't always been easy, but I've always been richly blessed.

For more about how I make it through each day, please visit my blog Blessings Before Breakfast.