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Archive for the ‘Greg’ Category

Funny Birthday Memories Of Greg

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My husband Greg turns 53 today.  An age that makes him proud.  He is living his dream the last 4 years – doing what he loves to do.  It just took him many years to find out what exactly that is.  Doing wedding and funeral services make him happy and fulfill his purpose – especially memorial services.  And I am happy that he is now free to do this full-time.

But what a time to have a birthday!!  5 days before Christmas – it’s tucked in the middle of other events and holiday activities.  He has never known a birthday without a Christmas tree, concerts, parties, dinners and other numerous things.  I’m sure that as a child, his parents made sure that Greg had presents separate from those that were under the tree.  But as he got older – it was so much easier to combine gifts.  And many in the family have done that over the years – even our own children.  He doesn’t mind – it makes sense to him.   As long as there is good food and something yummy for dessert (especially chocolate) he’s just fine.  Today he will get lunch AND dinner at restaurants and tomorrow and special dessert from out daughter Ashlee as she and her husband Drew come and have an early Christmas with us before we head to California to spend Christmas with our son, Shawn.   

When Greg came home late last night he was humming a “Happy Birthday” tune after working his “moonlighting” job.  It was the middle of the night and I had already been asleep.  And when I heard this I suddenly remembered, “that’s right!  Today is the DAY!”  This morning we were reminiscing over the many years of birthday celebrations.  There are two memories I have of this day – and I just HAD to share them with you.  Both of them are humorous.  What else?  Life with Greg is hilarious – we laugh EVERY day about very random things – each other and life in general.  So here goes.

My first fond memory is 25 years ago today.  I had just found out I was going to have Ashlee.  I was less than 2 months pregnant and felt icky.  I was in bed trying to fight the nausea.   We were living in New Castle, PA – in a 2 story rental.  The master bedroom was up the stairs and to the left.  I remember Greg walking downstairs and singing a sad little tune, “Happy Birthday to ME”  It was so funny that I laughed in spite of myself.  It helped to break up an otherwise very unpleasant day for both of us – and I’m sure we celebrated his birthday later when I wasn’t so sick.  We even flew to Seattle that year for Christmas!  Good times – being pregnant and sick everywhere we went that year.

My second fondest memory happened about 8 years ago.  We were having lunch with Greg’s parents.  A tradition that has lasted even until this year.  For some reason Greg’s mom (and probably me) needed to finish up some Christmas shopping.  Greg said there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he was going to the mall.  He has a standing rule:  NO MALL IN DECEMBER.  Now you have to understand – Greg’s HATES the mall.  No, I mean he REALLY hates it.  Now just add the holiday shopping, traffic going in and out of the mall AND the parking – and you have what possibly could be what Greg loathes the most in life.  But for some reason his sweet mother talked him into going “just for a few minutes”.  She told him, “Greg – you won’t even have to get out of the car – you and dad can just drop us off”  She understands his hatred of all things “mall” or “shopping”  especially in December and so tried to appeal to him in that way.  Somehow – I don’t know how, we were taken to the mall that day.  We quickly did our errands and returned to the car.  All the time, Greg muttering to himself – “I can’t believe it’s MY birthday and we’re AT THE MALL!!”  We were leaving the parking lot and onto the main road when all of a sudden Greg’s mom said, “Oh no!”.  That could not be good.  We were like, “what happened?”  She said, “I left my credit card at the last store”.  Silence.  Greg said, “There’s NO WAY I’m going back in there, mom”  But there was no way around it – we had to go back and retrieve her lost credit card.  It was sad but also HILARIOUS!  I told Greg that he would find the humor in it some day.  But somehow when I brought it up again this morning – he still groans and sighs.  Good times!

Happy Birthday, Greg!  You deserve a wonderful day all to yourself – something that is not just tucked into Christmas.  I hope all your birthday memories are sweet (except maybe the two above) and that you will have MANY MORE in the years to come!

You are loved!  Here’s a special song just for you on your birthday – enjoy!

http://www.jibjab.com/view/ZhR-KktWRuqJLWHEEQGdJA?mt=1

 

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How Do You Love?

Last night Greg and I watched the movie “Three Men and a little Lady” – made some 20 years ago or so. In the last part of the movie – the leading man finally finds the courage to tell the leading woman how he feels about her. She wonders what took him so long (5 years later) in fact on her wedding day to another man – he finally confesses that he loves her, not just for her 5 year old daughter, but for himself alone. Complicated? Yes. Self serving? I’m not sure. Does he have the right to love for just how it makes him feel? With no regard to how anybody else does? Because it brings him happiness to love her?

This has always been a topic of conversation around our house. Greg has always claimed that love in its most stripped down mode – is selfish. I’m not sure I have always agreed. I’ve had my share of relationships (in the love department) gone sour and very bad. And though I agree with the premis – I have trouble coming to grips with loving someone just because it feels good or because they love me. Aren’t people worth loving even when they don’t love back? How about those who choose to walk away? Are we to stop loving them?

The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners – and far from Him – Christ died for us. That kind of love is far beyond our comprehension. We as human beings have trouble with it. Most people who hurt us, mistreat us, stop loving us, turn away, love someone else, stop speaking, etc. – we write off as being unlovable and unreachable. Even when we have had relationship with them that has been good at one time. How different we are from the heart of God. God loves even when it is not returned.

Marriage – especially a long-term one is a great example of unconditional love. You don’t always feel like loving all the time. There are disagreements and differences. There is not always romance. You don’t say: “I will love you as long as it feels good for me and as long as you love me back – otherwise all bets are OFF!” Love is so much more than that – it is a choice. 7 days a week, 12 months, 365 days a year. Every year. Through rain and shine – thick and thin – in sickness and in health. Even when the person does not love you back in the way you think they should. Even when they don’t always understand you. Even then.

How do you love? Does your love have conditions? Is your love a selfish love that says: I will love you only if you love me back? I will give of my time only if I get something back from it? Are people worth loving just simply because they are?

I think they are.

 

God Bless

When Peace Comes To Your Neighborhood

Last night we heard yelling outside of our home, while sitting in our family room watching TV.  We thought it was just the people next door – we have noisy neighbors who have two little Chihuahuas and are always yelling for them.  But after a while it was clear that they were not just yelling for their dogs.

I went to the front door and peaked out and heard LOUD conversation with the neighbors and someone else I couldn’t identify in the dark.  I told Greg, “I think you better go out and see what’s going on”.  He did – and I was only able to hear parts of the conversation from where I was inside holding our puppy.

Greg was out there for close to 30 minutes talking to the gentleman who was drunk and did not seem to making much sense.  It was determined that he was back home – had once lived on our street with his parents, had run into tough times and was living back with them for a time.  The neighbors were so freaked out they wanted to call the police and would have had him taken away – but Greg told them that it was okay – and the neighbors went into their house.

I watched Greg calmly and lovingly talk with the man – and at the end of the conversation when I opened the front door to see if I could hear anything – I heard him say to Greg, “you are my angel”.

Greg has always been a peacemaker.  He has a hard time finding fault or anything negative in anyone.  This is why he is an excellent grief counselor, a mastermind at working conflict when dealing with funeral details and a wonderful speaker.  He speaks peace, love and acceptance wherever he goes.

Last night could have been a real tragedy, a man in trouble, lost and inebriated – being hauled off with the authorities – but it was quickly and quietly turned around – as Greg stepped in and spoke peace and comfort – helping this man feel accepted and loved and helping him find his way home.

I thought about this after I witnessed this unfold before my eyes.  There are two types of people.  Those who welcome and stir up trouble – making it worse – or those who come into a situation calm and accepting – bringing peace into the crisis.

Help me Lord to be a peacemaker in any and all situations threatening to rock my world.  Help me to think clearly and to love and accept lost and dying people without judgement.  Help me bring peace to my neighborhood.

 

God Bless

 

30 Year Ago Today!

30 years ago today – I married my best friend. He has seen me through good and bad times in life and in our marriage and has stood by me.

He allows me to be me – to express myself and grow. He understands me and gives me freedom to be the best I can be.

I chose well.

Happy 30 Anniversary, Greg. I love you.♥

Learning To Shut Up

This is not an easy story to tell.  I’m ashamed of myself to tell you the truth – and like you – I’m on a journey.  I hope this helps someone today – to see that it’s always better to HOLD YOUR TONGUE.

Last Saturday I went with my husband Greg on a day adventure and road trip.  He had a burial service and a wedding on the same day – which seem to happen quite a bit to him.  I enjoyed playing with my iPhone in the lobby of the funeral home while he and the family went to the graveside (did I mention it was raining?).  I was happily minding my own business when a lady who worked there came in and saw me sitting in this big lobby all by myself and said in a rather loud voice to a co-worker – “what is she doing there?”  Now I suppose it was the way she said it that was the most irritating – and made me want to say something snarky – but I held my tongue.  The co-worker who had seen me with Greg before the service and had no doubt put two and two together and was not alarmed that I would choose to be in there – out of the rain.  So she began to explain it to the woman who just entered the building.  It was quite amusing to me – I mean after all – I was just sitting there!

I told Greg as we were on the way to a small town near Mt. Rainier – for his next gig – a small country wedding.  And began a topic of great discussion – and much chuckling 🙂

The wedding was supposed to take place out-of-doors – but with the cold and rain – they had to go to Plan B – indoors at this quaint little country Inn.  It was simple and beautiful with about 50 people – small and intimate.  The wedding was upstairs and I remember walking up and being greeted with a friendly smile from the DJ.  He was behind a table of equipment and a sound board and was playing some really nice classical music as everyone was getting into place – setting the mood.  Ahhhh – so nice. There was a very pretty young woman with pink streaks in her hair – she appeared to be helping him at the table.  She also smiled at me.  I smiled back – isn’t life good?

The wedding was short and sweet – there were several toasts to the bride and groom by family and friends – some lights snacks served – and about an hour and a half to wait before a formal seated dinner downstairs.  During this time I thought I would look on Planning Center – an app for my iPhone that has service plans for a church service – and my husband and I were leading worship the next morning – and sadly I had not entered the songs in yet.  I thought – I can do this right now while we wait!

I had not counted on the DJ (remember the smiley and happy guy that greeted me as I climbed the stairs?) playing 70’s music (the hard stuff) REALLY LOUD.  I normally love 70’s music and I’m so-so tolerant of loud music – if I don’t have to concentrate on a task – but it was impossible with loud music BLARING.  There was only that one room to wait in.  The only rooms downstairs were the restaurant and the little store.  I knew I would have to get out of there – our truck in the parking lot was not an option due to the limited WIFI range.  I was NOT in a good mood – I had a mission to complete – and this guy WAS NOT helping me.  So I told Greg – I’m going downstairs – this is ridiculous!  Grabbed my purse and iPhone and moved quickly to find the stairs – right by the smiley DJ guy.

Now at this moment in time – I remember exactly what I was thinking.  And it WAS NOT nice.  I was horribly inconvenienced.  My head was POUNDING.  The music was BLARING in my ears as I walked closer to the stairs where the HUGE speakers were located.  It took every ounce of self-control in me – NOT to scream at that man – or at least voice my displeasure at his insensitivity to MY needs!  I mean – COME ON – doesn’t he care that it’s this loud stuff that can give me an unbelievable headache?  Doesn’t he care?

But I checked myself – and walked down the stairs saying nothing.  But I probably didn’t smile back at him – I don’t remember.  Boy was I mad.  Downstairs there was NO WIFI so I couldn’t complete my task without going back upstairs and I was determined NOT TO.  So I stayed down and waited it out for a little while – what seemed like forever – my feet were killing me and I needed to go find a place to sit.  So I went back upstairs – greeted by the smiley couple and stuck it out – until it was time for dinner.

Now here’s the really interesting part – and the most humbling for me.  We had name tags every one of us – assigned to a table.  Greg and I found our names at a cute little table by the window and had NO IDEA who the mystery people were that would be sitting directly in front of us – the table was very small – and it would be necessary to get really cozy with the other people sitting there.  No one came.  We thought we would be at the table alone.  And then it happened.  The smiley DJ and the pretty young woman with the pink hair – walked over to our table – they were our table mates.  They were friendly, courteous and fascinating – telling us story after story about their very fast paced lives – and during the meal I felt like we had made some friends.  They were half the age of Greg and me and it didn’t seem to matter.  We found common ground with music and sharing our lives and experiences.  I’m so glad they didn’t know how mad I was earlier – that would have been – well – can you say – AWKWARD?  I know that instead of making friends that day – my behavior and attitude would have been such a turn off to this young couple – our conversation would have been strained and I would have been humiliated.  Not exactly the example of Christ in my life, right?  Sometimes it’s just better to hold in.

Boy am I EVER GLAD I had learned early on in my life – okay – in more recent years to SHUT UP.  It is not always what I have done – but when I’ve had many things go sideways in my life because of my BIG MOUTH – I always think twice – when it would be the easiest thing in the world to just LET THEM HAVE IT!

When was the last time you kept your big mouth shut?  When was the last time you didn’t?

God Bless

Kangaroo Arms in a Gumby World

Fighting red kangaroos

Image via Wikipedia

I have short arms.  I have always suspected there was something wrong with me.

It started back in grade school.  I loved to twirl on the bar at recess.  Never mind that I had a fear of falling forward – thinking my short arms would NOT save me from landing on my face – but I noticed that the other girls seems to have a much better turning radius than I.  I suppose my short arms actually prevented me from landing on my face and I’m not really sure how all the long armed gumby-like girls prevented hitting theirs.  I guess it was because they were not only long – but stretchy.  Mine were neither long – or stretchy so lucky for me that mine were  on the short side when I did finally master the art of twirling forward.

As I grew in height – my arm length remained short.  Anytime I would buy something with long sleeves – it would be several inches TOO long.  Oh I would roll them up or fold them over – and in the 80’s when it was chic to have arm bands for shirts, sweaters and jackets – I had a pair in EVERY color.  I was cool.  My sleeves didn’t betray my short ‘kangaroo like’ arms.

A few years ago – my daughter and I ventured into the scary dark abyss of hot yoga.  I signed up for 6 weeks of cleansing and stretching classes.  What I did NOT know – is this – in yoga you have to do poses and stretches where you have to move like a gumby and do a back bend and touch the mat behind your head.  My husband calls it “reaching for China” – and only a person with very long and stretchy arms like the super power of ‘elasticity’ – can hope to achieve this.  I found out really quick – that I do not have that.  When we would have to sit and try to reach and touch our toes – I would watch everyone do this with ease.  It was impossible for me.  The poor yoga instructor – I’m sure she did not know what to with me would smiled and say, “do the best you can – you can do the same thing by grabbing your ankles”  Bless her heart.  Isn’t that precious?

I have also noticed that driving in a car – because I am tall (5’9″) I usually have the seat all the way back – but then my arms are too short to reach the steering wheel – so I have to lean forward.  Not a great thing for my posture over the years.  It’s this way for my computer too – tall so I sit back – short arms so I have to lean forward to reach my keyboard – like I’m doing right now.

What to do.  My husband and children have teased me about this for as long as I can remember – and because I love to laugh along – I started saying they were “kangaroo arms”.  I happen to think kangaroos are very cute – short arms and all.  We will not mention that they also happen to be a little round and bulbous in their lower exterior – we will just stick to the arms for this illustration. 🙂  Because my arms are shorter than the normal person who is as tall as I am – it is a challenge to let them just “hang” at my side, elegant and poised.  NO.  Mine stick OUT – in a most bizarre way.  Not long enough to make it sufficiently over the mid section and hip area – they poke out a little.  My daughter has pointed this out to me many times – “Mom, do you have to stick your arms out like that”?  Bless her sweet little heart.  She thinks I actually have a choice.  And I guess I do – in a way.  If I concentrate very hard, close my eyes and visualize longer, sleek, gumby-like arms – then I can make them stick to my sides.  For a few seconds at least 😉

Here’s to all of you kangaroo-like people!  I salute you.  Going through life and doing things meant for only the ‘gumbies’ of the world – such as:

1. Reaching the top shelf in the kitchen or closet without asking for help or stepping on a chair

2. Reaching the steering wheel and resting your back on the seat

3. Doing any kind of stretching exercise requiring that you bend over and touch the floor with your finger tips

4. Resting your arms elegantly at your sides

5. Reaching a keyboard without leaning so far forward that you pull all your neck, shoulder and back muscles in the process – requiring chiropractor visits and massage therapy.   (The massage part is a bonus – by the way 🙂

What physical hindrances keep you from doing what you want to do?  Have people ever teased you because you looked different?  Did you ever feel inadequate and different?  I want to hear about it – mostly because I don’t want to feel alone here 😦  Share AWAY!

God Bless

 

Throwing Off The Covers

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Mid-life, Migraine Barbie Has Snapped

I wrote the following more than a year ago and thought it would be fun bring it around again for all of you new readers 🙂

Well it’s finally happened. I’m hot. Not like that. The other kind of hot – you know the temperature kind.

It’s been happening for about 3 or 4 years – starting with migraine headaches right out of the blue – sending me to the doctor’s for a shot and vomiting all the way there. Then the really emotional days hit. I have been emotional my whole life – but during this time it was ramped up a bit. I cry at anything. Believe me – you wouldn’t want to test out that theory.

I don’t have to wear jackets outside even when it’s cold – and in the truck or car I need the vent on full blast or the window open or I feel sick,

I am my own personal heating system.

I admit it. I have been in somewhat of a denial over these very troubling ‘signs’ of midlife. It means – I have to give in – can’t excuse it away – it means – my body and emotions are changing and I must realize the sad truth – I’m getting older.

Last week I was at the doctor’s for my yearly exam and she asked me if I feel differently – other than the things I had said above. To me those were vague at best – not really the real thing at all – until she asked me about nighttime. She asked, ‘do you throw the covers off’? And I had to admit that yes, I do.

Last night I not only threw the covers off – but blamed my sweet sleeping husband for NOT opening the window wide enough. I’m like, ‘are you KIDDING ME!!! I’m in midlife here – WORK WITH ME!!’ And I got up and put a short-sleeved shirt on instead of the long-sleeved one I had on to begin with – and Greg opened every window he could find.

We laughed about it this morning – and it’s nice that we can laugh about it. I believe that other than this – I am going to breeze on by this little hiccup in the road of my mental and emotional state. And maybe someday soon I’ll be ‘normal’ and even put a sweater or jacket on again.

Even the commercial and retail world seem to agree with me – as many ‘boomers’ are now in mid-life and beyond. These will give you a good laugh and make your day!

Mid-life Barbie

1.) Bifocals Barbie. Comes with her own set of blended-lens fashion frames in six wild colors (Half-frames too!), neck chain and large-print editions of Vogue and Martha Stewart Living.
2.) Hot Flash Barbie. Press Barbie’s bellybutton and watch her face turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear on her forehead. (Comes with tiny hand-held fan and tissues.)
3.) Facial Hair Barbie. As Barbie’s “hormone” levels rise, see her whiskers grow. Available with teensy tweezers and magnifying mirror.
4.) Flabby Arms Barbie. Hide Barbie’s droopy triceps with these new, roomier-sleeved gowns. Also comes with two muu-muus, and tummy support under panties.
5.) Divorced Barbie. Sells for $199.99. Comes with Ken’s house, Ken’s car and Ken’s boat.
6.) No-more-wrinkles-Barbie. Erase those pesky crow’s feet and lip lines that have appeared with a tube of Skin Sparkle-Spackle from Barbie’s very own line of exclusive age-blasting cosmetics.
7.) Soccer Mom Barbie. All that experience as a cheer-leader is really paying off as Barbie dusts off her old high school megaphone to root for Babs and Ken Jr. Comes with minivan in robin-egg blue or white and cooler filled with doughnut holes and fruit punch.
8.) Mid-life Crisis Barbie. It’s time to ditch Ken. Barbie needs a change and Alonzo (her personal trainer) is just what the doctor ordered, along with Prozac.
9.) Bunion Barbie. Years of disco dancing in stiletto heels have taken their toll on Barbie’s dainty arched feet. Sooth her sores with the pumice stone and plasters, then slip on soft terry mules.
10.) Post-Menopausal Barbie. This Barbie wets her pants when she sneezes, forgets where she puts things and cries… a lot. She is sick and tired of Ken sitting on the couch watching the tube, clicking through the channels. Comes with Depends and Kleenex.

Who do you know with any or all of the above symptoms?  Did you ever own a Barbie?

Have a great day – God Bless!

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