7/11/17

{i found you}

.... it was 5 years ago today after finding and friend requesting rick on facebook, that i sent him a p.m. that simply said, "sorry, found you" :)

little did i know that he had horrible cell service at his house and his cell service doubled as his internet, so he didn't get my message right away ... which certainly led me to believe that maybe i made a mistake by creeping, but i was still holding out hope!

thankfully once he had a decent signal, he got my message and he did reply ... 

"thanks sheila, i didn't realize a facebook stalking would be so nice!" 

he then offered that i could ask any questions that i wanted to ... 

an offer i think he may have regretted soon after reading my next message!

i decided that i wasn't going to waste time and not ask the important questions, so i asked about his family relationships, prior marriage, relationship with his kids, did he drink, did he smoke, some other quite personal questions and the two "deal breaker questions" ...

he had said he liked liverpool soccer, but did he like my green bay packers

and

did he love my Jesus?

again ... his internet connection wasn't the greatest, or he had to process all the questions this crazy lady fired at him {or maybe a bit of both} so i didn't hear anymore back from him that day, and went to bed wondering if i'd ever hear from him again!

tune in tomorrow to find out HIS take on all the questions i shot his way and my totally crazy panic stricken moment when i decided to creep on his house!

7/10/17

{getting to know you}

... the next day when i checked my computer, i had a notification that i had received some messages on the plenty of fish site ... 

eek ... that was kind of scary!

some were automatic delete ones, like dr. cheerio who i mentioned yesterday!

another, namely the guy from the gym doing the pushups went something like this ...

"hey, i saw that you checked out my profile but you didn't comment." 

um ... 

no ...

i didn't ...

was i supposed to?

well, i didn't actually say that, but i thought it! 

i'm not actually sure how i responded, but i must have said something because i remember that he then came back with ...

"do you know the problem is with runner girls?"

to which i remember i responded ...

"as my dad would say ... what did you do with the money your dad gave you for comedy lessons?"

which instantly sparked an "lol" back from gym guy ... and that was the beginning!

at that point, cautious me kicked back in and i decided to check him out on facebook ... to see what things there looked like!

thankfully, rick didn't really care who looked for him, so nothing was really hidden {which of course i couldn't be sure of at that point}. most of his personal info was out there for the world to see!  from his facebook, i could find where he lived, which i promptly googled and found to be 30ish miles from me. i found where he worked. which was a gym a hour north of me as well as where he coached soccer. which was a half hour south of me. at that point, i again felt brave and sent him a friend request, not knowing if he would accept or if i'd ever hear any more from him!

... but, hear back, I did ... however, that is part of tomorrow's story! :) 

... stay tuned! :) 

7/9/17

{the beginning}


five years ... seems like yesterday, seems like forever!

five years ago tonight ... a new adventure began!

five years ago today i had taken all 3 girls to Bible camp for the week and when i got home i felt brave!

rickey and i had had a very good marriage.  

i had 2 amazing step-kids and he and i had 3 more girls that we had added to our wonderful family.

i knew that marriage could be good, very good, in fact and that i was only 45 years old and {hopefully} had lots of life left to live and i didn't think i wanted to live it alone!

i knew that in a week i was starting new job and thought it would be nice to have someone to share the excitement and nervousness and adventure with. and i honestly thought it would be nice to have someone to go out to pizza with once in awhile!

i knew that i missed companionship.

i knew, from conversations that rickey and i had had way back in the beginning our our relationship over 20 years earlier that he wouldn't want me to be alone and grieving forever.

... and i knew that rickey was not coming back. i had come to terms with that, and i knew that he was thoroughly enjoying the glories of Heaven and wouldn't want to come back ... even if he could!

i knew that i'd never stop loving him, but, i thought maybe, just maybe, God had someone new out there for me ... and how would i know if i didn't do a little looking?

so ... i got brave and went WAY OUT of my comfort zone and created a profile on a {collective gasp} online dating site called "plenty of fish" ...

i was very vague about who i was and where i was from and most other identifying pieces of information.  i simply went by runner girl and showed a photo of myself running in the hope memorial relay the month prior.

i also peeked at a few of the profiles that were posted ... you know, guys close to my age, those who lived relatively close to me {i didn't think i wanted a long distance relationship} and those that seemed *nice* ... as if you can really tell from a photo and a profile on a dating site! {besides i was very skeptical that  "those dating sites" worked anyway!}.

i remember that i saw the profile of a "dr. cheerio" {who later messaged me that he couldn't wait to come home after a long day of work and sit on my lap ... thank goodness for the delete button!} and another guy from peshtigo {who was looking to get married in 2 - 3 years and told me that in his first message to me ... another delete} and then this guy {above} whose profile intrigued me the most {and i can't pinpoint the why, there was just something about him that drew me in} ... but there was no way i'd make the first move, so i just looked!  i almost deleted the plenty of fish account that i'd just created, before shutting down my computer, but figured it was harmless and i'd never hear from anyone anyway {remember, online dating sites don't work}!

little did i know that this guy, doing pushups in an ad for the gym he worked for, would get a notification that i'd "creeped" his profile ... eeeek!

had i known that, i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have slept that night, and i'm pretty sure that i would have deleted what i'd just created ...

needless to say, he did get notified that i'd looked at his profile ...

and i didn't delete my profile ... 

and that is just the beginning of the story!

stay tuned tomorrow if you are interested in hearing more of how it all unfolded!

{*i love to reminisce ... rick can't believe that i remember the details so vividly, and he's glad that i don't expect him to!} 

7/6/17

{life.IS.good}

oh.my.goodness!

my blogging certainly goes in spurts!

i'm so sorry! 

life has been been good, and busy and full of adventure ... 

just to recap the last month or so 

think of this as a photo flip book ... in words!

{in no particular order}

a quick weekend trip to georgia

trips to miller park to watch the brewers

mowing the lawn

rainy days

falling more in love with my husband

a bridal shower for my beautiful middle

2 of 3 girls headed to slovakia for a missions trip

working as a personal trainer again

mowing the lawn

bonfires

seeking God's call/leading in our lives

deep conversations with rick

summer 

our "baby" turning 18

selling our rental property

buying a new to me jeep{!}

seeing God move {in HUGE ways}

celebrating my "other" daughter's wedding

enjoying visits from the kids

leaning on God's wisdom, not my own

seeking God

morning coffee on the screen porch

mowing the lawn

snuggling pets {lots of them}

seeing our marriage grow & glow

lularoe

enjoying family

dreaming of things to come

mowing the lawn{!}

planning a get together for taya & justin

getting organized {& simplifying life}

soaking up vitamin d whenever possible

living, laughing, loving

working out

learning to "go with the flow" 

mowing the lawn 

{um, yes, that one has made the list more than once! we had 2 days in june with no rain, so needless to say, we have green grass, and lots of it ... if i could bottle rain and it would make hair and fingernails grow as fast and as well as the grass in my yard, i'd be on to something!}

aahhhhh

lest that list sound like "perfection" ... our life isn't perfect, but it surely is BLESSED!  

as i learn more and more to lean into God and to look for His hand in everything that comes my way {the things i view as good and those i view as "not so good"} life becomes better! 

i'm learning to "see" God in all things, large and small ... and when i view them that way, the good days are better, the "perfect" days are glorious and the tough days are bearable ... all because i know Who holds each moment, and not one thing that reaches me hasn't passed through His hands first!

go out today, enjoy your day, look for the good ... in the meantime, i think i'll go mow the lawn!



6/3/17

again today ... my.heart.is.full! ♥


{Photo taken last year at Tessa's college graduation}

today ...

today, my heart is full.

full of emotion!

nearly 5 years and 7 months ago {june 5 will be that exact "milestone"} we sat in a hospital room and heard the words that changed our lives forever...

"i'm sorry, rickey didn't make it"

and...

just
like
that

life as we knew it was no more.

tessa was a senior, she hadn't even graduated yet, how could this be happening?

but, God.

but God, knew.

while we still do not know the "why" of that day
{and won't understand the full "why" until we reach heaven}
God does.

and He has been faithful to see us through.

today, we awoke to sunshine filtered through the clouds on this "yooper" morning.

there is a chance of rain yet again, it's been a rainy spring, but the temperatures are supposed to be pretty nice, for springtime in the "yoop"!

the house will soon be bustling with activity as mama worries that everything is "just perfect"!

for today, today & tomorrow, we celebrate a milestone!

each day is a milestone actually, each day is a testament to God's unfailing love and grace, but today, and tomorrow, we celebrate another big one!

when the doctor spoke those unbelievable words on november 5, 2011, i wondered how in the world we would survive? 

how would we go on?

how would the girls make it through the next 24 hours without the daddy who adored them, much less through the next days, weeks, months & years?

they had school to finish, the world to explore, husbands to meet .... all without their daddy.

but, God!

but, God stepped in and was a father to the fatherless!

He sent just the right people at just the right times, to offer support and love and encouragement that they needed and this weekend, we celebrate a milestone as kajsa who was just a little girl {12 years old that day in 2011} will graduate from high school!  it is such a blessing to see what a beautiful young lady she has become and it is a joy to celebrate her and the accomplishment of daddy's girl #4 graduating from high school!

since rickey went to heavem, all 3 of the girls have gone on to graduate at the top of their classes which is such a testament to God's watchcare over them through the years, and even more importantly, all have professed and demonstrated a deep, deep love for Jesus ... an honor and tribute to their daddy!

so, this weekend, we WILL celebrate!

we will celebrate KAJSA and her achievements!

though she has actually already spread her wings and flown {she completed her required classes for high school at the semester and has spent the last 4+ months living and working in georgia with uncle tim}, she will officially walk across the stage tomorrow to receive her diploma!

today.

today, my heart is full!

as rick and i watched a friend's son graduate last weekend, who also lost his daddy, we reflected on how truly unfair life in our fallen world can be.  in a perfect world, joey's daddy would have been there, fist pumping him and giving him a high five for his accomplishments, just as rickey would be here this weekend, loving on his girls and glowing with pride as kajsa walked across the stage tomorrow ....

but, alas, God.

God has plans that we do not understand and rickey will not be there, in person, but he will be there in spirit ... for he lives on in the lives of his 5 amazing children and his beautiful grandchildren.  he lives on in the memories of all who knew him, and he TRULY lives in heaven with our LORD and SAVIOUR.

God's ways are not are ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. so, we will miss daddy this weekend, and that is o.k., but we will also celebrate!

we will celebrate the love that God has blessed tessa with in her husband andrew, and the love taya has found with her fiance justin, and with the accomplishment of  "the baby" graduating from high school!

we will live and laugh and love and be thankful for these beautiful days we have been given!

i, as the blessed mama to these 3 amazing young ladies will savor the moments as they fly by 

way
too
quickly

i will be thankful for all that we HAVE been given, rather than focusing on what may have been taken from us too soon {in our earthly view}.

i will love on those that are here and enjoy their company
{tessa & andrew & kajsa}
and look forward to next weekend in georgia with taya for her bridal shower!

i will be thankful today, as i am each day, that God brought a "new" rick into my life who so completely "gets" these swirls of emotions! 

i'm truly amazed at his gentle understanding at occasions such as this and blessed beyond words that God has allowed me to love, and live and enjoy life again! i know that though he is not the girls earthly, biological daddy, he WILL beam with pride as kajsa walks across the stage tomorrow, and he will be thankful for the opportunity to have his "bonus daughter" achieve this milestone! i once asked him how much he loved the girls and he, without missing a beat replied, "so much that i would take a bullet for them" ... greater love has no man than he lay down his life ... rick truly is a blessing to us!

so, yes, today & tomorrow, we will celebrate!

we will celebrate all that was, for without the Godly influence of their earthly father, the girls would not be the amazing young women they are today!

we will celebrate all that is, for each day is a miracle and a gift from God!

&

we will look forward to all that is to come ... possible college graduations, and more weddings and {hopefully, wink, wink} grandbabies ....

knowing that we do not know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future, and we know who holds our hands!

thank you, Lord, for all your blessings.

my heart is full ♥

4/19/17

{can.you.do.it?}


o.k. ... this sounds good, right?!

But can you put it into action?  

Can you really go 24 hours without complaining?

The cat knocks over the vase of flowers {again} sending water spilling everywhere!

The garbage is overflowing but nobody but you seems to see it!

The car in front of you has their cruise set 1 mile below the speed limit {and you can't pass them}!

Yet *another* glass of milk is spilled at supper!

The clerk at the store is just a crab.

You ordered a CHEESEburger but it came with no cheese!

Can you do it?

Can you find something good in each situation?  A glimmer of "hope"?

Flowers tipped, water spilled ... the counter needed to be wiped down anyway!

The garbage is full ... I have a home full of people to create garbage!

The clerk is a crab ... maybe they have a sick parent/spouse/child at home, but have to be at work, maybe they just got "that" call from the Dr. with bad news, you never know what is going on in their life ... BLESS them anyway ... even if they are just a crab!

*Another* glass of milk is spilled ... my children {or my spouse or myself} are happy and healthy and HERE with me!

The person in front of you in the store ... you have the money you need to purchase the items in your cart!

Your CHEESEburger had no cheese ... you are able to enjoy a meal out!

Hmmmmmm.....maybe just maybe:


Let's work on this together today, and tomorrow, and next week, and next month ... and then let's see what direction our lives, and our families, and our little corner of the world takes 
{I'm going to make a prediction that things will improve ... when our attitudes improve}!

Start with the next 24 hours that God has given you

 ... they are a gift 

... will you use them to complain or enjoy the blessings that are yours for the taking? 

It's all up to you!

CHOOSE JOY!

xo, sheila 




4/18/17

{tabs}

Yes, I've seen this before.


Yes, this is truth.

Some days, my mind feels like all these open browsers on my computer!


Today is one of those days!

I have so many thoughts swirling that I can't even THINK about what I could/should/want to share!

We went to the gym today for the first time in a long time and it was amazing!

I need to organize/update my LuLaRoe albums and take photos.

I can't believe how amazing my LuLaRoom smells with Tangerine/Lemon/Peppermint diffusing!

I LOVE, love, love wearing make-up {and even lipstick} again thanks to Senegence and LipSense!

I LOVE, love, love that my daughter texts me recipes to try in my InstantPot!

I hate that we have an empty nest, but love that all of our kids are self sufficient, amazing young adults!

I'm excited that we're going to CHICAGO this weekend!

I LOVE seeing how God is working in my life, in Rick's life and in our marriage!


I can't believe I didn't love animals before I met Rick ... 


I mean seriously ... look at that face!
{she climbed in my lap while we were watching a webinar}

I love eating healthy and can't believe that either!

I'm amazed daily at the new friends I've made #becauseoflularoe!

My heart {and prayers} are with so many hurting people, but today, especially with my sweet friend Leah {widowed twice in 6 years} and our friend Kylie & her family whose sweet little {2 & 1/2 year old} Nora had a baseball sized brain tumor removed today.


I think it's time for a hot bath with some epsom salts & Lavender while I try to shut down some of these tabs so I can get some sleep!

Thanks for checking in ... and stay tuned tomorrow ... I have something EXCITING coming!



4/17/17

{i.am.enough}

This is a tough one for me ....


All my life, I've tried and failed, and tried and failed to be "enough" for others.

I strive, 

and I try 

and I fail 

to be a good daughter, sister, sister-in-law, wife, mommy, cousin, friend, employee, business owner ...

It is a process, and I know that I have not arrived by any means, but I'm slowly learning that 

I.am.enough.

I'm created in HIS image.

I'm loved extravagantly by HIM.

If I were the only person on earth, HE would have died {and rose again} for me.

I will continually fail my earthly family & friends but HE sees me as beautiful 

For some, I will always

talk to much

 or be to boisterous

or too emotional

I may never be

thin enough {or I may be too thin}

or patient enough

or organized enough

I.will.always.be 

"not enough" {or too much} for others.

BUT ... in God I can know that I am

treasured

and loved 

and HE adores me 

and because of that ... 

I.am.enough.

xo, sheila ♥

1/23/17

{smile thinly and say you're fine when you're not}

"who doesn't know what it's like to smile thinly and say you're fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain? there isn't one of us not bearing the wounds from our own bloody battles." 
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}


"amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  i once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now i see"
...
keep singing, just keep singing, i try to tell myself, and myself argues back, but this is "amazing grace, my chains are gone". this is rickey's funeral song. i can't, i can't keep singing, but the song won't stop.
...
"'twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. how precious did that grace appear, the hour i first believed"
...
ok then, i tell myself, don't sing, breathe. just breathe. in, out, in again. that's it, you've got this. just breathe.
...
"my chains are gone, i've been set free"
...
oh, yes, that's why we sang this ... all rickey's chains were set free, he's more alive in heaven than ever on earth. it's good, it's all good, right?
...
"my God, my Savior has ransomed me"
...
keep breathing, focus, focus ... focus!
...
"and like a flood, your mercy reigns"
...
can i escape? 
where can i go, can i slip out unnoticed? 
i need to run, i have to get out of here!
i can't.
i'm stuck.
breathe in, breathe out, breathe in again. 
focus, 
don't pass out, 
don't let them see you, 
"smile thinly, let them think you are fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain."
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}
...
"unending love, amazing grace"
...
wait, what's that? what's dripping off my chin? where did that come from? it's a tear, but i don't even "feel" like i'm crying.  what in the world there's another one, and another, they are coming unbidden and I.CAN'T.STOP.THEM!
...
i can't really hear the song anymore. i'm sweating. the room is spinning. what is going on? help me, somebody, help me!
...
 wipe them away, quick, before anyone sees. now you really can't escape. teary eyed and gasping for breath. breathe. focus. breathe. focus. the song is almost done, you can do this.
...
"but God who called me here below, will be forever mine. you are forever mine. you are forever mine, you are forever mine"
...
ok, the song is over. sit down, keep wiping the tears. nobody noticed. you're safe.
...
"i don't know the way to put all these broken pieces back into place...old scars can break open like fresh wounds and your unspoken broken can start to rip you wide open and maybe the essence of all the questions is: how in the holy name of God do you live with your one broken heart?"
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}
...
i need to interject here that since the day rickey died, 5 years, 2 months and 18 days ago,
 i.haven't.cried. 
ok, yes, i've cried, 
i don't mean that, 
but i mean i.haven't.cried. 
...
shortly into our marriage, my dear sweet rick asked me a very pointed question.
he said
"when are you going to grieve"?
i got mad at him and walked away.
...
that is a loaded question.
when am i going to grieve?
when do i not grieve?
how do i grieve?
and ... most importantly ... do i have permission to grieve?
...
"smile thinly, let them think you are fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain."
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}
...
how in the world did ann voskamp get into my brain?
...
i almost did it that sunday.
i "almost" grieved.
in church.
in a church full of people, where i felt utterly alone.
while we sang "rickey's funeral song".
5 years, 2 months and 10 days after he died.
...
after the song i texted one of my few safe people a simple but profound text,
"where are you"
{of course, i didn't add the whole story ... i'm looking around the congregation and i can't see you, where are you? if you are here, maybe, just maybe today is my day to grieve. maybe, just maybe, i'll let it out and i'll cry {finally} until there are no tears left}
...
"i'm working today, what's up"
...
and i "smile thinly, let them think you are fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain." {"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1} and respond "nothing, i'm at church and you're not"
...
breathe in. breathe out. breathe again again. you can do this, let them think you are fine.
...
"this is the deal we all get: guaranteed suffering. we all get it. it is coming, unstoppable, like time. there are graves coming, there is dark coming, there is heartbreak coming. we are not in control, and we never were. one moment you're picking up balls of crusty dirty socks strewn across the bedroom floor, and the next moment you're picking up the pieces of your one shattered life."
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}
...
"unspoken broken"
...
we all live with our own "unspoken broken"
...
God has been good to me. He has seen me through. i know the love of {another} good man. life is good. but there is still "unspoken broken". there is still grief to be felt and grieving to be done.
...
over my sweet first born's wedding weekend, i had a good chat with her big brother. afterwards i told him that he mended a piece of my heart that evening, that sweet, big man-boy who reminds me so much of his daddy in some ways that at times it hurts.
...
"unspoken broken" 
...
you'd think i'd learn. you'd think i'd let go of the stubborn, dig your heels in, grin and bear it old me, but, i don't. i continue to "smile thinly, let them think you are fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain."
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1} 
...
it took me a week to tell anyone about the episode at church. to bare my soul enough to even share what happened that day {what really did happen, i'm still not sure myself}. on the way home from church yesterday, i told rick the "amazing grace, my chains are gone" story. he smiled, and nodded, and understood. that's all, he understood. and for that moment, on that day, that was enough.
...
someday i'll grieve. someday, i'll cry all those tears that need to be cried. but, until then, I'll
"smile thinly, let them think you are fine when you're not, when you're almost faint with pain."
{"the broken way" by ann voskamp chapter 1}