Thursday, March 31, 2011

UBP 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I remember reading a suggestion that said we should write the party-post ahead of time.  I really did think about it, really I did, but each time I sat down to do it, the baby needed to be fed, the toddler was ready to play instead of nap, or the toddler and baby were both napping so I took one, too!
That's my wordy way of saying I'm winging it here.
If you are new to my blog, welcome!  I'm Amanda a.k.a. wanderingonpurpose, and I try to keep my writing from wandering, but I don't always succeed.  I'd blame it on mommyhood, but I was like that pre-kids. Want the "non-wandering" intro? click here :)

Why wandering on purpose? It seems like at this phase of life I am not quite sure what I am doing, where I am going, or how I will get there, but I have faith that all things work together for good, so I cling to that during the ups and downs.
Why the 81?  Well, when I switched from another blog host, plain ol' wanderingonpurpose was already taken, so I added part of my birth year.  (Yes, that makes me thirty.)
A couple of things about me you may want to know:
  • I met my husband online. June 2004. He was in England at the time. We met in person Oct. 2004 and got engaged. We eloped in January 2005 when he finally moved back to the States for good.  I refer to him as The Hubs on here.
  • I have two sweet boys.  I do not use their real names on here, which makes me a little sad because I think they have pretty cool names.  I call then Bubby (22 months) and Bugaboo(almost 4 months) on the blog (but in real life I use these nicknames interchangeably)
  • I am a NICU-mommy-veteran.  Both my boys were preemies, so there are lots of archived entries about our NICU days.
  • My faith is very important to me.  I write about it on here not to be pushy but because it is as much a part of me as my husband and kids. 
  • I will never get tired of going to Disneyland.
  •  At least once a year I watch the A&E (very long) version of Pride and Prejudice.
  • I cannot go on a road trip without hearing at least one Rod Stewart song. He always finds me somehow, someway in my car when I am driving out of town. It became a sort of inside joke with my college roommate.  I do not own any of his music. :)
  •  I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas 2009. I have yet to finish my first project.
first family of four picture - taken Dec. 23, 2010

mommy renewal day

The baby who slept from 10:30ish till almost seven on the dot.  A long shower without the immediate, "Mommy. Mommy.  Mommy!" sound from a few feet away.  Taking time to do my hair AND make-up just because, and The Hubs telling me I looked good just before I escaped out the door this morning.
A great cup of coffee and a scone that had potential.  Perusing two bookstores to see what I want to request next from the library, and pushing away the thought that I will not have the time to read all that I want to get my hands on.  Using two giftcards saved  from Christmas - a new shirt, flip-flops, and finally a pair of jeans that fit this had-two-babies-in-less-than-two-years-body.  (I will save the jeans shopping adventure for another blog, another time.)  Driving home rejuvenated as Bubby finished his lunch and Bugaboo slept and only feeling 2% annoyed at how well the boys kept chaos to a minimum while Daddy was in charge.
I had the morning off. 
And now both my boys are somehow simultaneously napping, The Hubs is at work, I have dinner planned, laundry going, and the house is almost silent.  What an amazing day.  I am renewed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

wall made white

Barbecue sauce splattered on a kitchen wall from where I tossed the measuring cup into the sink with too much force.  It looked like blood, but the only wounds inflicted were of the soul-kind, not of the flesh.
It is easy to focus on the negatives when frustration grips the heart and mind.
This argument, brief and forceful, came out of nowhere, like a summer storm.
As we go our separate ways to cool down, I remember what I had wanted to compliment him on yesterday, but got busy and forgot.  His integrity.  When so many around are taking the easy way, but not the best way, in finances, in relationships, in life, he stays strong in his convictions and helps me to as well.  So we talk.
A washcloth assists me in removing the stain, wall made white again.
And this is grace: apologies  exchanged for speaking without thinking - forgiveness shining down after the storm.

Monday, March 28, 2011

a bit of good news

So today as I was going through the mail from my week away, I discovered we had NOT been denied assistance for the hospital bills (yet), just the clinic-side/doctor bills.  We still haven't heard back from the application to the hospital.  We were denied assistance from the clinic side of things (aka doctors).  It is a complicated system I can't explain here.
Anyway - the clinic bill is still a pretty penny BUT I am holding out hope we will hear a yes for help from the hospital soon.  Hope and pray with me.

MM 489-499

After a week "off" with grandmas and grandpas and a couple of aunties entertaining the boys and of eating yummy hometown food paid for by various people, reality set in on the drive home.
The Hubs let me know we got a letter saying we had been denied assistance from the hospital for my medical bills.
Feet went up to the dashboard, legs bent, knees and hands became a makeshift pillow as I cried for about three minutes.  More sad tears this time than my usual "I hate the world" tears when I get bad news. Not to say I didn't have some of those tears.  I did. I posted a brief pity-party on the internet, and a few minutes later deleted it.  Because my "I hate the world" moment was just that - a moment instead of a day, a week, a month or a season.
This doesn't mean I am all sunshine and lollipops right now.  I have questions about the fairness of things, of playing by the rules and still feeling like we keep hearing, "...do not pass go. Do not collect $200...", of how God answers some prayers with "yes" and others with "no" without any rhyme or reason from my limited perspective.
But I have been given enough peace to go through my day knowing that God can handle my questions and that all things work for good for those who are called according to His purposes.

Joining with Ann to continue giving thanks:

489. everlasting promises
490. time with family
491. gas money
492. hometown food
493. two boxes if diapers and a ton of wipes
494. summer clothes for the boys
495. getting to know my step-sisters better

496. provision from family for 491-494
497. safe travels
498. Bubby playing with Papa's harmonica like I used to do
499. toddler who requests books by title now

Friday, March 25, 2011

perspective

The phone call from the realtor made me cranky this afternoon.  Not her fault, it just is what it is, and it isn't good. 
Bubby has a terrible cough these days in the middle of the night, and though Bugaboo is sleeping a six-plus hour stretch, I was up three times in the wee hours with my toddler.
And trying to make sure my boys see everybody while we are in town stresses me out a little.  I realize I put that stress/guilt on myself, but as the week is drawing to a close I find myself thinking about whom I didn't get to see or to see enough, especially since Bubby's virus zapped this mommy's energy levels.
So I had a brief pity-party for myself this afternoon, but perked up after a chat with my mom, and a trip for taco pizza with my dad and step-mom. 
Just after returning from pizza, I learned via facebook that a childhood friend lost her baby and nearly her own life this week, just a few weeks from the due date.  And I cried for this friend I haven't talked to in over a decade, my pity-party from earlier feeling impulsive and selfish now.
Life is precious.  Life is short.  Life is a gift.  I need to live each day in that knowledge.
I snuggled my toddler a bit longer tonight, and found that I was extra-patient with my fussy baby, too.  And I keep whispering prayers of thankfulness for all I have been given, for each breath is a gift, and I keep saying prayers for my long-ago-friend, that she will find comfort and peace as her world has been shaken.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

spring break so far

Here are a few highlights of what the boys have done on Spring Break so far...

firestation visit to see Chief Boppy (Bubby calls my dad Boppy for some unknown reason)

pizza with great-great-grandma and great-grandma

Bubby enjoys my hometown's best ice cream

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

thirty days of prayer

Thirty days ago some of you partnered with me to pray for the following things:

  • clear direction and an open door
  • the sale of our house if we are supposed to move
  • continued provision for our needs and our medical bills
  • strengthened faith and strengthened family
Some days on this journey I felt my prayers were strong and detailed, not just for myself, but for you all.  And other days this mommy eeked them out while nursing the baby or driving somewhere or putting my head on my pillow (finally) at night.  But I think that is the ebb and flow of any conversation, any relationship. The important thing is to keep talking and to keep listening.

A door hasn't completely opened or closed.  I don't know that direction has become clearer, but
I do feel some peace that no matter where we end up or what happens, we will be okay.  Our home is still for sale, so The Hubs and I will keep praying for its sale.  We continue to have enough to met our needs.  We are still waiting to hear from the hospital regarding our application for payment reduction. 

I think setting aside a few weeks to be intentional with my prayers has reminded me what is important, as well as to pray for others as much as or more than for myself.  So it seems nothing "major" happened in thirty days, but I am okay with that.  And maybe that is "major" enough.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

obedience and patience

There have been a couple of scenarios lately where I have felt led to act in moves toward reconciliation, one an old wound, one a more recent one, relatively speaking.  I know what I felt impressed to do, and I did so.
But in one case I had hoped there would be a response, but there has been none.  In the other, I really didn't know what would happen, and the response has me a bit perplexed.
I am an a+b=c type of person, and life just isn't like that.
So I wait. 
In one case I wait on a response that may never come.
In the other I wait to respond so that I can sort out what is my humanness and what is of the Spirit stirring in my heart.  I want to act on Truth.
I want those happily ever after endings, but something I heard Beth Moore say once is that if you exercise the spiritual gift of mercy without accountability, you are not acting in the Spirit.
So I wait.  I wait for words from others and words for me to speak.

Monday, March 21, 2011

spring break for the SAHM

Spring Break for me? Yes.  Not the crazy-at-the-beach-college-kid-Spring-Break. (I never had one of those.)  But the back-in-my-hometown-for-the-grandparents-to-see-the-grandsons-Spring-Break. Even better.
 Continuing to do my best to remember to be grateful for the big and small things:
482. Mom's visit to MO over the weekend
483. Bubby and Bugaboo being excellent travelers in the car all day
484. deep dish Chicago-style pizza from Giordano's at "Chow" and "Me's" place

485. sleeping midnight to 6 AM most nights now
486. being asked to be a bridesmaid this October
487. the way Bugaboo's little hand grasps my finger

488. Monday morning nap while Mom entertained Bubby

subbing certificate

Way back in January, when I was still 29 in fact, I had fingerprints done so I could start subbing a couple of days a week. But as usual, my fingerprints did not take.  So I had them done again.  And then I waited. And waited. And waited.  About a week or so ago, I finally heard from the Powers That Be (the state board of ed.) that I had cleared, and I needed to go on their website for my number or certificate or something.  So I did. Only to not find it listed there.  Grrrr...  But the district I am intending to sub for was on Spring Break last week, so I couldn't call over there to have them sort out the mess.  And this week I am on my Spring Break.  So I will try to sort it out from here this week.  Perhaps I will be able to sub before summer vacation arrives.
I'm not complaining too much.  It would be nice to have the work a couple of days a week, and it would be nice to have a small paycheck, but I love (most days) my time home with my little guys.
And I'm on Spring Break this week. So it's all good. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

learning manual mode

Bubby really wanted to take the coffee pot out of the cabinet and carry it around the house.  He was quite upset that Mommy said, "No."  It didn't help matters that I decided to photograph his temper-tantrum.

Bugaboo decided to coo and play instead of nap or fuss, so he became my subject while I tried out different things on the camera.

Yes, I take a zillion pictures of my kiddos.  Is it wrong that I want to capture almost every moment??  I am attempting to learn manual mode on my camera, which is a great excuse to take a zillion more.  The grandparents never complain about a lack of photos of their grandbabies. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

glass

Pulling a glass out of the dishwasher a bit too quickly, it caught the counter top on the way up.  Clink.  Another broken glass.  Thankfully not shattered, but a huge crack left it unusable.  Sigh.  We started our home with a dozen or so new, square-shaped glasses.  Today we are down to five of the originals, and three Coke glasses from McDonald's that I hate, but The Hubs likes. 
"Why do they keep breaking?" I wonder aloud.
"They have been through the heat of the dishwasher a thousand times." The Hubs responds as he cleans up our toddler.  "They are more easy to break now."
And I ponder that.  How much have we been through?  The ups and downs of marriage, the disappointments, the losses, the challenges, the closed doors.  All of these dispensing their pressures and heat on our lives.  Will we break as well? Some marriages chip, some marriages shatter, but some remain in tact despite the adversity.

I think about all we have learned and how we have grown because of the trials, the pressures, the fires.  We will not be shattered like glass or chipped like pottery. We are being refined like silver.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

just a Tuesday night

I know in coming months and years there may be rivalry and jealousy, feelings hurt and competition.  I hope not, I pray not, but they are human and brothers - brothers who just happen to be a year and a half apart.
But for now I will soak in these moments of Bubby sharing his toys and leaning in for a kiss, and Bugaboo cooing and smiling in adoration. 

Bubby who runs around with his pajamas unzipped, flying behind him like a cape, and Bugaboo who has hair that could fly behind him too, if he was capable of running.

And in these precious moments the sleepless nights, the memories of NICU days, the countless diapers, and every frustration this new mommy has had and is experiencing fades...

 and all I see are two boys for whom I would sacrifice everything.

sweet shot Tuesday


For physical therapy Bubby has to learn to walk on different surfaces. At the park the other day we tackled grass and this little bridge in a garden area.  The bridge had an interesting incline, so I was proud of Bubby for walking on it.  The one thing he refused to walk on...  the gravel.
Sweet Shot Day

Monday, March 14, 2011

a full night of sleep

Thank goodness for the grace Monday morning brings after a very sleep-deprived weekend.  I tried to elaborate on this, but the words weren't right, so I will just post my continued gratitude list and join with Ann's community:

471. Bugaboo sleeping ALL night in his bed - over eight hours!

472. Saturday trip to a park in between Bubby's coughing episodes

473. library books that I hope to read over the next couple of weeks
474. Wednesday night Bible study
475. Bubby bringing books to his "Me" (Auntie Missa)
476. encouraging blogs written by friends and strangers
477. March Madness about to begin and the sweet memories it brings to mind
478. new, really easy potato dish - great comfort food on a cold, rainy day
479. the way Bubby lifts his arms up when he wants The Hubs to pick him up
480. and the way he backs up and squats when he wants to sit on your lap
481. Did I mention my baby slept through the night? :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

3 months

Bugaboo turned three months the other day  (adjusted age is 1 1/2ish months)

what are we up to around here

Bubby:
  • Talking, talking, talking - I can't keep up with all of the new words he is learning - sometimes he is saying something, but I don't understand which is frustrating to both of us, but overall we communicate pretty well :)
  • Reading - after a hiatus from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, that book is back with a vengence.  Bubs is getting good with his animal sounds/recognition (with other books, too), but often confuses cats and dogs and sometimes ducks and chickens.  He also calls "white dog" in the book "hot dog," which just happens to be one of his favorite phrases.  (He really doesn't get hot dogs very often, but he says it with such expression.)  He also is digging The Hungry Frog right now and likes to finish the sentence, "Everybody knows that frogs eat  .... FLIES!"
  • Physical therapy - walking like a pro...well at least walking like a toddler.  He can even walk backwards.  We are now working on steps (hard to do when we don't have stairs - just a step by each outside door), jumping (doesn't have to get until he is 2ish), and keeping his balance when reaching up.
  • Big brotherness - LOVES to kiss Bugaboo.  Fascinated (maybe jealous of?haha) with the fuzzy hair.  Has recently started taking the wet diapers to  the trash for me.  Talks in a high-pitched, soft voice to the baby.

    Bugaboo
    • Usually sleeps 11ish/midnight to 4ish and then after eating to 8ish.
    • Prefers napping all morning to afternoon naps does not want to turn in for the night at a decent hour.
    • Very, very fussy recently - it seems like 85-90% of his awake hours are spent fussing, especially if he is not being held.  Thank goodness he is cute enough to make up for it.
    • Will lift/control his head very well while being held/resting on someone's chest, but doesn't do much lifting during tummy time other than to turn his head to the other side
    • Smiling and cooing a little more each day.
    • Focuses on faces but not really interested in tracking/focusing on anything else we try.
    • LOVES the bath.  Only gets mad getting in and getting out.

      a post on faith

      I know not everyone who reads my blog shares my faith, and most of my entries involving topics of faith are non-controversial.  I never want to come off as a "crazy Christian" or a "know-it-all" or a "hypocrite" or any other phrase that unfortunately too often characterizes people who (claim) to follow Christ.
      That being said, for recent weeks I have this feeling in my gut that the end is near.  That doesn't mean I think Jesus is for sure coming back tomorrow (although He absolutely could be); it just means with all of the intense recent events (everything transpiring in the Middle East, today's huge earthquake in Japan, financial crisis all over the world, etc.) things seem to be lining up for the end.
      I have so much on my heart right now that I do not even know exactly how to get it out or where to begin.  I guess today I just want to write about why and how I started identifying myself as a Christ-follower.
      I grew up going to church.  We went every Sunday and Wednesday when I was little.  I remember earning a prize for memorizing the twenty-third Psalm.  I still can sing almost every kiddie song from Sunday school (and do to my boys).  I knew all about Jesus from an early age.
      But when my parents got divorced when I was in middle school, I was very angry at God.  How could God let all of this happen?  There are still situations in life when I ask that and honestly I do not have concrete answers for those questions.  I just know that by the time I was fifteen I knew something was missing in my life.  I started attending a youth group with a girl from my English class, and that summer I made a decision - to ask God for forgiveness for my sins and to trust and follow Him.
      And I would love to tell you that ever since that July day in 1996 everything has been perfect and lovely.  It hasn't.  My life has had tremendous ups and downs.  I have had disappointments and frustrations with people, situations, my faith.  I have had moments and seasons where I have let people (and myself) down in big and small ways.  I still ask a lot of why questions.  I don't accept cookie-cutter answers from "church people."
      But the thing that remains constant in even the worst of times is the peace that God has provided and continues to provide me.  I have lost friendships over the years, yet He has remained faithful.  I have dealt with seasons of clinical depression, but He has brought me out (with also the wisdom of doctors and medicine) to seasons of joy.  My miscarriage was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me - I still do not understand it - but I felt His presence even as I was so incredibly angry and sad.
      I guess this is all to say I have a relationship with Jesus because He is good and He is trustworthy and He can handle every emotion, every question I throw at Him, and He still sticks around.
      I know not everyone believes the things about Him that I do - that He is the Son of God, that He died and rose from the dead for our sins, that He is Love, that He is coming again - and I would never push my faith on anybody.  But I could not shake the feeling this morning that I needed to share what He means to me because maybe someone out there in blogger-land is looking for a God who can handle anything he/she throws at Him, for peace in a storm, and for hope for the future.
      Feel free to comment - even if you disagree with me.

      Tuesday, March 8, 2011

      first sweet shot Tuesday

      So I am linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday for the first time.  I am learning to use my first dSLR camera and am finding Darcy's "31 Days to a Better Photo" very helpful.  I think I am on day 8.
      Anyhoo, my favorite photo of week was just moments before I discovered the snake in the direction Bubby is looking.

      I don't have any other details for this photo yet other than I have a Canon Rebel xs - I don't remember any of the settings. I am still learning and experimenting.

      Sweet Shot Day

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      smiles and MM 460-470

      I cried yesterday.  I haven't cried as much lately - I did a whole lot these last 6-12 months due to hormones both natural and synthetic and then the drop known as post-partum.  But yesterday I got teary at church as we sang "Praise to The Lord, The Almighty" because some hymns just do that to me as the theology in the words and the notes in the air stir my heart.
      And then last night I cried.  I had been a little overwhelmed with toddler and baby that evening, so I handed Bugaboo to The Hubs and said, "I need five minutes," which I took in the car in the driveway with a brief phone call to my mom who assured me this roller coaster of joy and exhaustion and frustration are normal in motherhood.  So I returned to the house refreshed.
      And more tears came near the end of the evening as my baby smiled and "talked" to me in his infant language.  Everyone who knew my grandfather comments on how Bugaboo's mouth looks like his, and last night he looked so much like Papa as he grinned at me that happy tears flowed as I gave thanks for my boys - one who has Papa's name in his and one who has his smile - constant reminders of love.




      460. church that sings a hymn in the contemporary service
      461. free Krispy Kreme donuts
      462. unexpected packages
      463. Bugaboo's smile
      464. Bubby requesting songs
      465. slow Monday mornings after Bugaboo stayed up too late
      466. clatter from cookie sheets Bubby repeatedly pulls out of the drawer - simple joy
      467. forty minute/99-cent escape to a Sonic Drive-In, quarters for my large vanilla Dr. Pepper, boys happy in the back-seat, Bible, journal, and Alicia Chole devotional - some days that is how I get my quiet time
      468. note from a college friend across the country with a toddler and a newborn, too
      469. library books in piles around the house for Bubby and for me
      470. a punch-card from our favorite coffee place left at a table just one punch away from a free coffee  - a random act of kindness for us from a stranger

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      time to write

      I have ideas, words, themes, concepts dancing in my head.  Well, maybe not dancing. Perhaps awkwardly hoola-hooping or three-legged-racing in my head.  Dancing implies choreographed organization and beauty - that is definitely not going on up there.
      But I am tired of saying I am going to write something substantial (aka a book) and not doing it. Maybe it was hearing that the Twilight chick wrote her book (which I have yet to read) in three months while she was a stay-at-home-mom.  Maybe it is all the bloggers I see writing things, creating things, impacting things that makes me want to write, create, and impact, too.
      So today I tackled some white.  Just ideas on a computer screen typed one-handed on a Word document while Bugaboo napped in my left arm, but it is a start. A non-vampire-story start.  :)

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      when grandparents live far away



      ...you take a lot of pictures of the grandsons just trying to capture every moment before we blink and they are in high school. 
      Bubby really loves Bugaboo. He constantly wants to give him a kiss (and a loving poke in the eye), he is fascinated with the wild hair (which he never had), and is always wanting to give him a binky (even if he has to try it out first in his own mouth).

      Thursday, March 3, 2011

      he's a cold-hearted snake

      Yesterday I attempted to have Bubby and Bugaboo play outside and enjoy the lovely weather before it gets gross again this weekend.  Bubby has not done a lot of playing outside because a) he has only learned to walk over the last several weeks (aka the dead of winter) and b)he is so fair skinned we did not spend a lot of time outside last summer because I figured he would burn to a crisp.
      But after lunch today I placed Bubby's push-car and toy lawn mower on the patio, took Bugaboo out in his bouncy seat, and went outside with my boys.  Bubby did not want to play with his toys; he just wanted to play with the grill. (Is that on the y-chromosome?)

      Bugaboo cried 99% of the time we were out there, disturbing the sweet homeschooled kids next door I'm sure.

      I was attempting to get Bubby to play in the grass, and as I was coaxing him, I spied something odd near the mulch.

      I thought it was trash blown over from our less-than-clean neighbors down the road.  As I got closer, I saw it was not.  At first I thought it was just a snake skin because technically it is still winter, and I assumed snakes, like me, are not fans of winter.  But no - it was an alive snake!  YUCK!  I don't care that it was small and probably non-poisonous. It. Was. A. Snake.
      And now that I wanted back INSIDE the house, all of a sudden Bubby was determined to try to play in the grass, where I can only speculate that other snake friends were hanging out.  So I had a crying baby and an upset toddler.  Such is life.
      The last time I had anything to do with snakes was when I taught English in China one summer, and I had a student named Snake.  He was obsessed with the Backstreet Boys.
      Which reminds me of my other snake experience.
      Third grade talent show.  Me dancing to "Cold Hearted Snake."  I might add that I have NEVER taken a dance lesson in my life. So why I did that for my talent instead of an actual talent, like playing piano, is beyond me.
      Wow...that was some randomness there.

      3 month stats a few days early

      Bugaboo doesn't have a wellness check for three months, but he did have to get his Synagis shot for RSV prevention today.  So he was weighed.  Up two pounds in a month (and February was a short month!) - 11 pounds 4 ounces.  To quote the nurse, "You must be doing something right, Mom."

      Wednesday, March 2, 2011

      melt my heart

      Monday, amidst the chaos of food falling from the high chair and me wondering if my computer would work again, my first born had a lovely first.  Out of nowhere, from his place at the table to me at the kitchen sink, Bubby called out "love you" to me, his mommy.  All of the previous "love you's" have been a repeat of our "love you's" to him, but this one was all on his own.
      melt.my.heart.
      Then that night, as my second born looked up at me, making faces and speaking his language in a high pitched-voice, Bugaboo gave me a real smile.
      melt.my.heart.times.two.
      And these are the things that keep me going when my Dr. Pepper paid for in spare change is spilled by a toddler's go-go-Gadget-arms ALL over the kitchen as the groceries are being brought in from the car.  These are the things that allowed me to calmly place him in his crib while I cleaned up the mess only to have to clean up a different type of mess minutes later.
      The melt-my-heart-moments get me through.
      And so does nap time.  Thank goodness it is nap time right now!

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      Multitude Monday on a Tuesday MM#450-

      I am so thrilled this afternoon.  My computer has been completely unusable for a few days now, and when we took it in to have the professionals fix it today, they pretty much said they couldn't help us.  My files would all be gone, and at best I could restart at factory settings by using my restart discs at home.  (I'm sure there are more techy words to describe).  I honestly handled the news pretty well.  The boys' pictures are uploaded to shutterfly, so at least I knew they all existed somewhere, and the other files...oh well.
      BUT
      after we did all the installation stuff over not only did my computer work...all m files and such seem to be here still as well.  PRAISE THE LORD!
      Joining with Ann's community a day late to celebrate blessings big and small:
      450. computer experts in town being wrong
      451. the two Dave's on the east coast with attempts/offers to help from hundreds of miles away
      452. Thu Hubs getting me a vanilla Dr. Pepper to cheer me up before things worked today
      453. a first smile and a first on-his-own "love you" yesterday
      454. spring weather
      455. Uncle Fman taking time to check Bubby for strep symptoms (not there!)
      456. a long Tuesday nap for the boys and one for me, too
      457.compliments on the lunch from today
      458. toddler who started eating peas again (though his mommy won't touch them)
      459. friend's report of 365 seizure-free days for her little boy --- Jesus heals!