Thursday, December 12, 2013

New blog!

Please visit me at my new home here...


Some of you may have tried to stop by here over the last few days and gotten a Malware warning.  With much investigation and some help from my son, Jay, it turns out that the culprit was a photo I posted last Sunday with a Christmas scripture.  So the offending image has been removed but in the meantime, I moved to a new blog home.  Now that I'm settled in, I'm going to stay there but I'm certainly glad to at least have access to my first blog, lots of memories and friends here!  I hope that you'll stop in for a cup of coffee at the new place.

Love, grace and gratitude!

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Joy-Grabber

Jay, Mac, Grandpa/Dad, Grandma/Mom, Susan and Amy

I'm only dropping by to share this photograph taken last night at the Motown Christmas Experience we attended at my sister's church.  Look at these beautiful faces :)  

I have officially become a joy-grabber this past year.  And I ain't sorry!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Hospital Christmas Party!

Left to right:  Deb (Staffing coodinator); Barb (Nurse Manager); Cheryl (The Boss); Sara

Wendy (Nurse Manager) who is a lovely Christian woman and continues to faithfully attempt to curb the bad language and unprofessionally behavior of her peers.  She happened to sit down at our table and since she does not drink (or otherwise misbehave) everyone pushed their drinks and beer bottles in front of her and I snapped a photo for a future blackmailing purposes :)

Susan & Mac (AKA Mr. Mac as he known at work)


Blurry but I just think they are so cute :)

Me, the Mr., Mac & Susan

Susan and Mac

Love those faces.

The four of us attended the hospital Christmas party on Saturday evening.  Mac and his girl came along because Mac works as a mental health tech, for those of you who are wondering why only one kid was there :)  As you can see, we got all dolled up and stayed out until 10:30 at night!  LOL!
We had a lovely time with one another enjoying some time away from the hospital together.  During some difficult work days, these folks gave me a reason to laugh, held my hand (I think to prevent me running away) and hugged me through some rough moments.  I'm honored and grateful to still have the opportunity to spend my days with them because they have become my best friends.  
And don't my kids look pretty?  

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Busy weekend~

1.  Getting my TB test read.
2.  Home mani.
3.  House chores.
4.  Christmas work party tonight.
5.  Grocery shopping.
6.  Motown Christmas concert Sunday evening.
7.  Breakfast, baking and movies on Monday.
8.  Finish picking up stocking stuffers.
9.  Wrap one last gift.
10.  Looking forward to snow on Monday!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Moments on purpose

I think most people wish for Norman Rockwell moments, and sigh when year after year passes without them.  Oh, for the good old days!  Oh, indeed!  I couldn't agree more.  As a reluctant career woman and wanna-be full time homemaker, there are few who wish for those precious long lost days more than I do.  I wasted many days with a certain sadness always hovering in my heart that this is all there is to life now.  And then, when I'd had quite enough of longing and not enough of doing, I learned a lesson (and for once, not too late!)
Those Norman Rockwell snapshots might not be as common as they once were, but they will only become extinct one home at a time.  And in this home, they won't be extinct until I am.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that technology was key in hanging on to the used-to-be!  Now, you see, I schedule moments.  Once upon a time, that would've seemed too manufactured to be satisfying but I've outgrown that.  I happily use Google Chrome to send out invitations and place events on the calendars of my loved ones.  In fact, daboyz will regularly look down at their phones to find me there!
So this weekend, the Mr. and I are attending the work party on Saturday with Mac and Susan.  On Sunday, we'll all be going to a Motown Christmas Show at my sister's church (courtesy of my mom,) and on Monday the ladies will gather at my house for a day of baking and White Christmas on DVD.  All of this, by the way, scheduled several weeks ago.  Because that's the reality now, we can't just pick up the phone and expect everyone to be available.
I encourage you to start reclaiming time for a few Norman Rockwell moments.  Make it a priority.  Facebook is full of like this and share that to express the conservative Christian perspective.  I say that if we continue to value home and family, tradition and time;  we'll continue to maintain the core of God-centered America that we all treasure.  Don't underestimate it.
We live too much "out there" and not nearly enough "in here."  In the home, face to face.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Our house~

The sentimental, old-fashioned memory tree.

With a little bit of fun bling!


Antique hutch

You'd be amazed at how much time I've wasted trying to figure out how to decorate this hutch!  I think I finally figured it out, old-fashioned items like this old garland on top.

Since I shared my parents' decorations, I thought I'd give you a little taste of the festivities at the Smith House!  I feel like I've struggled this year to get things right.  Why this would be, I've no idea!  I mean, shouldn't it just all be exactly like it's always been if it's always been right?  Apparently, this is a Christmas mystery.
Our family room is the place that I feel should look like a child's idea of Christmas.  Which is why I couldn't bear white lights on the tree!  Not sure if you can tell, but those are big old fashioned colorful lights.  I saw "snow" on a friends tree and copied her.  There are very few space filler ornaments on this tree, it's all sentimental.
Then there's the mantle, which just felt like a deep dark hole!  I think the snow strung with (yes) white lights fixed that problem.  The hutch never quite cooperated but this year, I think I've stumbled upon the solution.  So now, by George, I think I've got it!
Not all of it because naturally, the lighted garlands were beautifully lit on the floor and croaked out immediately when hung.  The Mr. is working on those this weekend.
Once I've wrapped the gifts and placed them under the tree and those garlands are again lit, I do believe I shall say all is well and Christmas can continue as planned...LOL.
I'll share some photos of the front room on another day.  Still have some final touches for that room which include sending the Mr. back into the attic for the nativity.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Finally!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


The last few days have had the seeds of frustration ready to be planted.  Thankfully, the Lord stayed my emotions and I am exercising a new muscle; just letting things be what they are.  In my transition from my former position to my current one, I have reduced the time I work (hallelujah!)  We are a small hospital and don't have an employee health department in our building.  We have to go downtown to the main campus in Detroit for employee health services EXCEPT for once a year when they send two nurses to do our annual health mandatories:  flu shot, TB test, respirator fit test.  And guess who was not working on that one day?  Yup!  Well, the deadline for compliance was December 1 and if you also guessed that I never hauled myself downtown, you are correct.
I can't take the flu shot that the system provides because of Thimersol sensitivity so I have to pay out of pocket for the preservative free version.  Which also has to be special ordered if you're not lucky enough to sneak in and get it when the one or two vials stocked are available.  And guess who had to wait for the special order?  And pay out of pocket?  Yup, yup, yup!
Waiting to get my preservative-free flu shot (which I really don't like taking anyway!) and already being behind schedule and missing the day employee health was on site, I find myself having missed the December 1 deadline.  Of course, that puts me with a large and unhappy rabble vying for appointments downtown.  I called yesterday, they are so backed up you can't even speak to a human being.  I was instructed, via electronic voice mail, to leave my name and number and don't expect a call back for 24 hours or so.  Still no call.  Which means...
No work for me.  That's not bad, I mean, I would rather not work.  However, I do still need to work and the holidays are not the time to whittle down one's paycheck.  My doctor is triple booked for a week, can't get in there to get it.  So here I am, on the blacklist for lack of a TB screening.  Yes, I did get that daggone flu shot, harumph!
So tomorrow, I'll storm the gates again and may just have to haul myself downtown to wait patiently with the rest of the unwashed (or at least noncompliant) hordes in need of a TB screening.  Two days off work has been nice but I need to get some time in before the week's up.
I've done a little more Christmas decorating, spent some time with my mom, made a few Christmas gifts and if I'm off tomorrow, I suppose I'll get to wrapping.  Then again, it's "that time" by which I mean hormone migraine time.  A fine time to be grounded if ever there was one.
So I haven't planted those seeds of frustration.  Another day at home, I may just dip them in glitter and hang them on the tree but I will not let them take root!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  
Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

Who are you?  Who who who who?  
I think about this a lot, about identity.  How important it is to know who we are and then to keep ourselves living in places and situations where our identities are continually nurtured.  Time spent in other places can leave us confused about who we are and leave us feeling at loose ends.  Unmoored.  Unanchored.  Drifting.

Our parents and family are the ones charged with that first introduction to teaching us who we are.  This is why children born into stressful homes struggle almost from birth with self confidence.  No one told them who they were, and they spend their lives trying to figure it out.  This is of such dire importance because who we are gives us a sense of birth right.  We know we have a right to this life, we know how we should be treated and we know when we are being lied to.  We know how to trust because we heard the whispers at bedtime and in the mornings, "You are my precious son/daughter.  I love you.  You are wanted here.  You are one of us.  You belong."  It's that sense of belonging to something bigger and stronger than we are on our own that compels us "home."  It makes us long for the old days with grandparents now in heaven and draws us back together for holiday dinners. It's what, in this modern age, has us texting and emailing and posting pictures.  Look, it's us!  It's me, it's who I am!   

When people ask me why I left my position as a nurse manager, the answer is simple.  It wasn't the right role for me any longer.  It wasn't who I was.  I did the work I was intended to do, I learned the lessons and then God declared..."You are no longer a nurse manager."  And then, it wasn't right any longer.  

God's fingerprint on us is the true definition of who we are.  And the devil can do immeasurable damage by simply distracting us from the sacred calling of simply being God's creation.  We all have a childhood memory of that moment when we realized some kid didn't like us.  Or a teacher was unkind.  Or we looked down and saw rags that just that morning were simply clothes.  When the innocent assumption of being treasured was ripped away and we felt exposed and foolish.  When the gentle whispers of love were drowned out by the hateful hiss of the enemy, "You aren't wanted here.  You don't belong.  You aren't good enough."  

"You are nobody."

And our identities, before we truly understood them, became blurry.  

All spiritual insight aside, who are you?  Are you an introvert (hand in the air!) or an extrovert?  Are you hilariously funny if sometimes a tad inappropriate (hand in the air again!)  Are you more often serious and thoughtful?  Do you snort and cry when you laugh?  Do you pay attention to the tiniest details, with slow and careful deliberation?  Are you a big-picture person?  Are you disorganized, never able to put your hands on the item you need?  Do you love to cook?  Hate to bake?  Are you cowboy boots and jeans or high heals and sparkles?  Old movies or sci fi? Junk food or sprouts?  

Who are you?  And by the way, that previous paragraph was one long trick question.  Every single answer is a spiritual insight.  Everything about you was intentionally woven into your DNA, all of it and more than could ever be covered in a simple blog.

Satan had an identity.  Then he threw it away and tried to recreate himself.  All that was beautiful and good in him suffocated under the mask of pride until ugliness was all that was left.  And peace was gone. Being the supreme counterfeiter, he wishes to be a creator like God.  But all he can really do is confuse and distract us so that we, too, forget who we are.  Confusion, anxiety, depression and hopelessness are the traits he passes on.  We look in the mirror and no longer see something intentional and good, we see a fake, an imitator.  But that's not what we were created for, that's not who we are...

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

It's amazing when you think about God's point of view, because it's one of adoption-not entitlement.  Nobody got there be simply being born.  God looked at us, one by one and said, "I choose you." "And you."  "And you."  And you, in the corner thinking no one sees you?  I choose you."  And we, his adopted, give him pleasure!  The snorting laugher, the disorganized one who can't find her car keys, the book worm and the introvert and that girl who spends way too much time on Pinterest?  Every single one of us, all of the details that make us who we are, give him pleasure.  If we'd only surrender to the adoption process, we'd get a new identity. 

 It's the miraculous revelation of who we are.  

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Thanksgiving Day 2013
Mac, Susan and Jay working on stubborn tree lights.  

After lots of patience and work, the tree is lit and it's time to decorate (Susan & Jay pictured.)
Jay putting some finishing touches on the tree.

Grandpa/my dad supervising.

Brooke and Amy taking care of the fancy tree in the living room.

The Family Room tree is complete! 
A few Christmas touches on the mantle and it's time to relax and enjoy.

Will work for pizza!

After recovering from Thanksgiving, we headed back to my mom and dad's house on  Sunday to deck their halls!  The family gathered to haul the Christmas decorations up from the basement and in from the garage and spent a few wonderful hours giggling and chatting while we decorated the Trent Home together.  The Mr., Daboyz and their girlz, my Aunt Kathy and her daughter Brooke, my sister Amy and I descended upon my poor parents and took over.  We were rewarded with pizza from our favorite local pizza joint, Pizza King.  We've been eating Pizza King together as long as I can remember and it always makes me think of my Trent grandparents, which made the day all the sweeter.

So the holidays have officially arrived, our halls are decked and our hearts are full to overflowing with God's goodness.  What a great start to a very Merry Christmas!