January 29, 2010

Just a little bump

"it's just a bump in the road, it's not an end"
I've had to repeat this to myself several times today after some unexpected tax news completely halted all of our plans.

It's said that money is the root of all evil. If this is true, why is it such a necessity? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Two big blows came our way. The first was a nice big bill from the IRS for 2008. Apparently our "ex house" is still haunting us, damn her! The management company we were using never sent us the tax forms for that last year we owned, and made profit (if you can call it that!) on the house, so we had to use the shotty records that we had (I don't know why they were so shotty ... poor record keeping). So now we owe the IRS. It was a bit of a surprise, but we knew we'd be getting our tax refund for this year, so we'd be able to pay it off, and still have some left over to get rolling with our plans. Plus, can't really complain when you knew your records were shotty to begin with, right? lol
On to blow number two ... our tax refund was directly deposited into our account today, but for only a small fraction of what it was supposed to be. What?! That can't be accurate. After a couple of phone calls, apparently it IS accurate! A credit card company that we have been disputing with for over a year now was able to garnish almost all of our tax refund. Sucks! There isn't enough left to pay our bill with the IRS, much less start making some headway on our plans. Kind of hard not to be discouraged, right.

This wont stop us. It might slow us down a bit, or a lot, but it wont stop us.
We're too determined!

side note ... I hate credit cards! So glad we don't use them anymore!

January 28, 2010

In The Works

Rare is the day that all three of these boys fall asleep in the car.
Very very rare!
So I, of course, had to capture it and share it! Make sure I wasn't dreaming the whole thing! lol.

I know my last blog post has many of you wondering what we're up to. Ahh, the suspense.

Soon my lovelies, soon I'll share our dreams and our goals with you all. Our plans and ambitions. We have some things already in motion, yet still feeling some trepidation in turning our dreams into reality. Can we really do this? Will it really work? We're ironing out a few emotional kinks, if you will, before going public.

We're excited!

January 26, 2010

Tumbleweeds... Wild and Free

Sitting at the kitchen table, listening to my 4 men run around in the cool afternoon air, I feel very blessed. Very fortunate. Very full.

My life is good. No, my life is spectacular!

We're on the cusp of some big life changing events. Whether we want them or not; change IS going to happen. It's inevitable at this point. In approximately a year, give or take 6 months in either direction (this med board stuff doesn't give a very clear or definitive time line, lol) everything that we've known for the past 13 years will be gone, and we'll be forced to begin our new chapter somewhere doing something. This can be, and has been, a pretty scary reality. A reality that that has left me short of breath and full of anxiety countless times. A reality that is hard to "plan for" when the process of this (being medically retired) is, and will continue to be, so up in the air until the last few weeks... last month or two maybe, if we're lucky. We wont have clear answers about disability payments, benefits, medical care, what's required of him etc until very shortly before getting the boot. Lack of information coming in really does make it hard to make a plan that we feel secure with. You can understand the trepidation and fear that has often overwhelmed us to the point of near paralysis.

My thoughts are shifting. My mind is opening. My walls are expanding. In the very near future we will have ... Freedom! I know that sounds rather cliche, but really, being forced to make these changes that we've talked about wanting to make for years... this is a gift. A fork has been chucked down upon our road, and going straight has been blocked off. Staying on this same path is no longer an option. We're being forced to make the changes we have often wished we had the courage to make. Total and complete freedom to decide if we make a proverbial left or a right. This is a gift. A gift we must acknowledge, embrace, and not take for granted.

Our time is now.

We can get out, move back "home", line up a new career for Nick, carve out a little spot for us in a good neighborhood, find family with local homeschoolers, volunteer in the local community, and I'm sure be really happy.

Or ...
We can grasp this opportunity to live our dreams. To not settle. To push the envelope, break free from the mold, and embrace our passions. Our dreams are at our fingertips, right there, ready to be born. Ready to be turned into reality.

Are we courageous enough to accept this gift?
I'm beginning to think we are, and the butterfly in the stomach feeling I have right now tells me that pushing through the fear in order to make this happen is going to So Effing Rock!

I think I'm going to move my photo-a-day blog over here... combine the two.
That should really help my blogging efforts stick this time!
So, go ahead and start looking forward to THAT! lol

January 25, 2010

Soaking Up Some Love

A frosty green smoothie, a raw vegan chocolate truffle, some aroma therapy candles, and a piping hot bubble bath. Yes, I am blogging from the tub! I told you I'm trying again to get back to the blogging spirit, and since this is time I have free ... I am, quite literally, soaking up some love, indeed!

We just got home from watching the Vikings/Saints game.
It felt like a parallel universe.
Was I REALLY rooting for the Vikings???

Welllll, yes and no! lol. I was rooting for Favre... who happens to be wearing purple this year, so I suppose in an indirect sort of way I was rooting for the dreadfully hated Vikings, (boo, hiss, boooooo!!!) though, I said in the beginning, if that old man somehow goes down and is unable to get back in the game ... my vote will swiftly and cheerfully be swinging on over to the other side! In a very SO THERE :-P kind of way!

He did go down, many times in fact, but he kept popping back up!
No matter, they lost.

I disagree, quite passionately, with many of the playcalls (or lack of playcalls, as the case may be), but it is what it is. Favre's last play of the game (last play of his career ??) was an interception. A careless mistake. A throw that never should have been made. Hindsight is always cocky, isn't it? The scene was all too familiar for this Packers girl, and I felt heartbreak... again.

January 23, 2010

Pimp Seeds

I have lost the drive to blog. I've tried, several times, to get back in the blogging habit, but it's been fruitless. I used to love blogging. Writing. Releasing my soul out into the boundless sea of other bloggers. It was so much a part of me, and as much as I've tried to recapture that, my efforts have failed.

I'm trying again.

These moments matter too much to me. I need to record them so I'll always have them. My life is a roller coaster of emotion. I've been patiently waiting for a little more stability. A little more calm. It's not coming... not yet anyway. Moments are so fleeting, so easily forgotten when the world around you is filled with chaos. I don't want anymore of these wonderful moments stripped from my memory... blogging is a wonderful tool to use for these moments. Making them eternal. The memories will always be there, ready to be recalled.

The photo above is of a fruit snack I made for the kids the other day. Simple and delish. Banana, pineapple, and papaya chunks sprinkled with hemp seeds. When they were done eating Owen looked at me and said...
"Thanks so much for those pimp seeds, Mom, I really enjoyed them"!
PIMP seeds. lolol!!!
Cracked me up!

January 21, 2010

something better to do

I love the rain.

The ability to get lost in watching it, listening to it, smelling it ... it's so very magical.

It's raining right now. As much as I almost wish I could gather up the motivation to organize the house (we're getting rid of no less then 1/2 of our possessions - so that kinda means our house is a WRECK right now) ... I'd much rather sit here, at the window, watching the rain fall. Closing my eyes and hearing the rhythmic sounds each drop makes as it hits. Inhaling deeply, filling my lungs with the crisp, clean, refreshing air that comes with it. Feeling the wind wisp the drops around, slightly misting my face through the screen.

Yes, right here, this is where I want to be.
This is my something better to do...

January 15, 2010

Heartache for Haiti

I may not be religious, but that doesn't mean I don't pray ...

There aren't many words to express the heartache I feel for the people of Haiti. I've sat down to blog about it several times, but nothing comes out.

No words, just action...

We light candles, say a few prayers, and talk deeply about what we can do to help the people of Haiti and all of the rescues teams that are out there trying to save lives.

The kids decided they want to send all of their charity money, and most of their spend money to the relief efforts in Haiti. So proud of my sweeties!
You see, they get an allowance each week. They keep 50% of their earning as their "spend money", 25% goes into their savings jars, and the other 25% goes into a joint Charity jar (you can see it in the photo below). Nick and I match whatever amount the kids have put into the charity jar, and we pick one charity or organization to give the money to.

It was an easy choice who to help out this time ...
(though we didn't just pick one organization to help, nor did we just double the money int he charity jar)

We took part in the digital fundraising for the Red Cross by texting 90999 to HAITI The response has been unbelievable! As of Friday morning the tally had reached 8 million dollars!!! Read the article.

We donated to UNICEF, whose focus is children! They've been on the ground in Haiti since 1949, and although their compound in Haiti was affected by the earthquake, they have decided to absorb all administrative costs... meaning 100% of each donation will be used in the Haiti relief effort. Amazing!

We donated to CARE, who have more then 50 yrs experience in Haiti, and already have 133 emergency personnel on the ground distributing food, water, and supplies to families.

We also gave to the Humane Society International for their help with disaster relief for animals. Though they have no teams on the ground yet, and no concrete plan of exactly how to best allocate their resources to this cause, they are evaluating the situation to see what can be done to help the animals of Haiti. They are running into "roadblocks" as there are no animal welfare groups, animal shelters, or veterinary schools anywhere in the country ... making rescue planning and efforts complicated. There are so few options when it comes to emergency relief for animals affected by disaster, and we definitely wanted to help support an organization that does just that, so although there isn't yet an immediate relief response happening in Haiti, and despite my unhappiness with the Humane Society as a whole (the Michael Vick thing), we still decided to support their efforts. However, if anyone knows of any reputable organization, focused on animals, that may be doing more in Haiti right now, please let me know!

Now it's your turn ... do what you can to help, every bit counts!

first photo used in my 365days photo challenge

January 5, 2010

Happy Three Months!

They're 3 months old now, folks, and living the life!

This past dreadie month has the best yet. Yes, granted, I only have 3 to choose from, lol, but all the same...
I fell in love with them on a daily basis.
I am loving
the crooked awkwardness
the loose midsections that mistakenly seem weak
the upheaval of strays that deceptively imply destruction
the soft pieces that fall in the front, apart from the rest
the parallels that exist between life and dreads
the textures, the scents, the feelings they stir up in my very soul...
They are part of me.