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Christmas Pics

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

About a month ago I was caught admiring this leather jacket at our local Harley-Davidson shop...

Then this showed up in my stocking this morning!

I LOVE it and can hardly wait for milder weather for when I can put it on and ride my Lowrider down the highway. :)

But some of my biggest reasons for loving this time of year are below. At times I had to sit back in silence and quietly admire the banter, the laughter, the poignant moments, that make me thankful for being a part of this beautiful family. I have almost a hundred photos...I'm known for wanting to make a memory of every little thing...but have chosen just a few that gave me a chuckle or touched my heart in some way.

Welcome to my family.

These are Bre's cupcakes she made for our little party.

This is Bre and her boyfriend Cory.

Bre and Cory staging a "caught-off-guard" look at the table. :)

My oldest daughter Brook and her fiance Mick.

Brook stealing a kiss from Mick...I don't think he minds. :)

Brook, my grandson Dylan, and Bre.

Again in front of the fireplace...

My niece and her husband on leave from the USAF. :)

My grandbabies...sent via phone from Oklahoma...oh, how I miss them.

Random shots...

Yes, it's time to eat...

No, Bre, put that down!!

Ah, young love...

Bre and her grandfather on Brian's side.

Bre and her grandmother on Brian's side.

There were some missing faces this year. My youngest son Paul and his wife. But we are going up to see them this Thursday and I will hold my newest granddaughter for the first time. My brother Steve, who will have been with the Lord for three years this coming January 2nd. My mother and father. My oldest son Bobby, his wife and three beautiful granddaughters who live in Oklahoma but shared during our time with pictures and a very long phone call.

I am counting my blessings. And plan to do so each day with the new year approaching.

May God bless each and every one of you today and each day thereafter.

You are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 1/4/2013 11:37PM

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas pictures with us! Looks like a good time was had by all! Love the new leather jacket!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/31/2012 5:49AM

    How blessed you are! Thanks for sharing! Next time include a pic of you and Mr. Steelkickin!

Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 5:50:10 AM

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LUCKYPRESENCE 12/30/2012 10:02AM

    What a beautiful family!! It looks like you had a wonderful holiday. LOVE the jacket too emoticon

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JUNIAATROME 12/29/2012 2:49AM

    lovely!Christmas is great!

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IAM_HIS2 12/28/2012 11:08PM

    So happy that you have these pictures as memories. Did you get that jacket?

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BRADMILL2922 12/27/2012 10:28AM

    Isn't it just fun to capture all of those "moments" (staged of not lol)! Looks like you guys had a great time hanging out and creating all new memories that you will have forever! These are the days that you will always look fondly back on in good times or when you need a little pick-me-up.

Glad that you got to enjoy your family and all of your blessings. This time of year can be difficult missing faces that you have become accustom to over the years but they are always in our hearts and memories.

Hope you have a fantastic day Thursday (today) when you get to hold your granddaughter for the first time! I am sure that you will enjoy every second of it! Nothing beats seeing that precious face for the first time!

Thanks for sharing all of the pics of your wonderful family! Oh, and great jacket by the way! Hope you get to take it out for a spin soon! Love you!


Comment edited on: 12/27/2012 10:33:48 AM

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GEEMAWEST 12/26/2012 11:47PM

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

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JADOMB 12/26/2012 6:45PM

    Such a beautiful family and it looks like there is so much love there. I am so happy for you. God bless

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LMB-ESQ 12/26/2012 12:53PM

    You have such a beautiful family :-)

And I'm coming to get that jacket... you'd better hide it!

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ARUNNINGKAT 12/26/2012 11:54AM

    Looks like a wonderful family Christmas!

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KING_SLAYER 12/25/2012 9:41PM

    Wonderful pictures of a great looking family. I can see why you are the way you are. Merry Christmas to you and your awesome family.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/25/2012 8:53PM

    Beautiful pictures - what an amazing family you have! So much to be grateful for...also it is awesome that Santa has such a good memory and great fashion sense. May you wear that gorgeous jacket in fair weather this spring!

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DOVESEYES 12/25/2012 6:49PM

    What a lovely family!!!

Happy holidays

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AJDOVER1 12/25/2012 6:49PM

    You're a blessing personified! I wish you all the best. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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TRENTDREAMER 12/25/2012 6:45PM

    :) Merry Christmas.

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WALLAHALLA 12/25/2012 6:24PM

    awesome jacket! glad you had a happy one

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CARTOONB 12/25/2012 6:14PM

    I love your pictures!!! Why did Bre have to put it down...she would have shared, I'm sure. And LOVE the jacket! Can't wait for you to get to wear it!

Merry Christmas!!

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    Great pics - LOVE the jacket!!

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ANNESYLVIA 12/25/2012 6:02PM

    Your pictures are heart warming.

Last September was a year my brother passed away from cancer. And November was a year my MIL passed on. It is hard but we must live for those who are still with us.

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Virtually Visiting You

Saturday, December 22, 2012

If I could visit each one of you this holiday season, I would. I would arrive at your doorstep, knock loudly and unceasingly at your door and smile broadly as you opened it. I would then, most likely in a loud and exuberant voice, (some call it 'obnoxious') say, "Waail, hello, sweet thang, ya just gonna stand there?! Invite me in and let's have some fudge!!" And as you stand there in your curlers and house slippers, wondering what the heck just happened, I would blow right by you and make myself at home in your kitchen. I'm sorry. Really. But just give me about ten minutes and you'll either be ready to hug me or throw me out. If it's the latter, you might have a little trouble getting rid of me anyways. Again, sorry. But I will just want you to know how much I appreciate you and love you. I'm just that way. But I'm harmless. Really. (No, really.)

After the initial shock of my arrival wears off (it is, after all, midnight) and you realize I am rummaging in your cabinet for your coffee, you will shake the ringing from your ears and hand me the filters. I will ask about your family, how they have been. I will compliment you on your decor, ask about your pictures on the mantel and ask to see your photo albums. Trust me...before you know it, you will be excited right along with me seeing pictures of days gone by. It will stir memories of Christmas's past. It will bring tears to your eyes, a smile to your heart and a sense of melancholy for the years your babies were born. Soon you will be showing me their special ornaments on your tree and the significance attached to each of them.

It won't take me long to see the light in your eyes.

Then you will be telling me what you got your spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, etc., for Christmas and why. You will begin to tell me why THEY mean so much to you. It wouldn't surprise me if you tell me how you and your spouse met or what day your children were born. You will begin to brag about their accomplishments and the days they did something special for you and how it made you feel. At this point I can feel the adoration you have for them. I am happily silent as I watch the look of peace and joy flow over your face.

See, I know you guys. I've known alot of you since 2009, when I first joined SparkPeople (under a different name). I've grown to love you, appreciate you, understand you. We have grown, like a family. And I know, even in the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, as we are vowing not to eat this or eat that, that you all have huge hearts and souls that make you all SO very beautiful. I know that you all love your families intently, deeply, richly and abundantly. That's good stuff. If I could visit each and every one of you, I WOULD, just for the sole purpose of giving a hug and getting one back from you, because you are just my kind of people. Because you ARE who you ARE.

And maybe to aggravate you. Just a little. And be all up in your coffee and photo albums.

Merry Christmas, sweeties. Thank you for being here as I have grown as a person. (Yeah, I realize I was the rebel child who took awhile to get where I am but it's because of you that I did.) Let's hug our families tighter this year. Let's be free with the hugs and praise. Let's just slow down and take that extra minute or so to linger over our children.

And open the door when I knock. I'm persistent. Really. (No, really.)

God bless. Peace to you and yours this holiday season.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/31/2012 5:56AM

    I have coffee and a housecoat. No curlers. But would insist you sit at the island and chatted as I made the coffee. How do you take yours?


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JERMADSON7 12/28/2012 4:41PM

    Really? No, really, when are you coming to see me? Coffee is on but the fudge is getting kind of old. Maybe the conversation alone will keep you around for awhile. You can wear my curlers. I kind of don't have hair anymore. Then you can look at my pictures while I fire up the Fatboy if you're up for a quick spin around the 'hood...

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BEAR8MM 12/25/2012 4:36AM

    Tequila goes good with fudge. Really. (No, really!) XOXO, you sweetie!

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SHARON10002 12/24/2012 11:52PM

    This was an emoticon blog, and a wonderful emoticon . My door is always open to you, Michelle! I'd love to meet you in person and do all the things you'd like to do, too! No curlers for me - I'd probably have my usual "bed head" - hair sticking up and going every which way! emoticon
I'd be in my fleece robe, jammies, and slippers. I have coffee, and homemade candy cane hot chocolate to which we would add some "Christmas Spirits" to add to our merriment and sheer joy of meeting each other!

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BLAKBIRD 12/24/2012 9:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YELLOWDAHLIA 12/23/2012 9:58AM

    Come on over! Bring vodka...and fudge!

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SKMINNY 12/23/2012 7:55AM

    Neat! coffee is on n fudge is made, come over!

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WOODHEAT 12/23/2012 7:35AM

    Now that was extremely cool. Why with all of that imagination you never joined us at "Happy Hour on the Deck" I'll never understand. You'd fit right in. Merry Christmas. Hope it's filled with the lightheartness you displayed here.

Life is good!

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GEEMAWEST 12/22/2012 9:10PM

    Well, I'm waiting. emoticon

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FREDSEVOLUTION 12/22/2012 8:32PM


You would be most welcome:) You are very sweet. I wish for you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!

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KING_SLAYER 12/22/2012 6:02PM

    This would be weird; not someone knocking at my door excitedly at midnight, but the picture of me in curlers... I would have to have them glued to my head as I usually keep my head either shaved or just stubble. I do have coffee however and would at any time welcome a happy, excitable, attractive woman into my home! (My momma didn't raise no fools!)

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/22/2012 4:25PM

    What an endearing and beautiful blog! I don't get up until 10am on my days off (sometimes later) so plan on having brunch or lunch when you stop by. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas sweetie!

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IAM_HIS2 12/22/2012 3:59PM

    Come on over Michelle..the coffee is ready and I have some refreshly baked Christmas cookies. My door is opened!

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AJDOVER1 12/22/2012 3:34PM

    C'mon! There's plenty of coffee here and I've got a little homemade English Toffee left.

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BACKMOON 12/22/2012 2:17PM

    My door is always open, you'll just have to get past the five tail waggin, licken dogs first

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JADOMB 12/22/2012 12:52PM

    House slippers, YES, curlers, NO. But I would welcome you with a hug and gladly make you coffee and chat. I would cherish our time and friendship and forever remember our time and conversations together. So come on by Ya'll and I will always welcome you with open arms and a big smile. God bless and Merry Christmas.

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DOVESEYES 12/22/2012 8:56AM

    I loved this blog, I feel like you have been to see me.

thanks for stopping by.

Happy holidays, I think you left your scarf... emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 12/22/2012 7:37AM

    Awww... you're so sweet. You can stop by anytime. The dogs will happily and noisily greet you at the door. You won't have to be too persistent because I'll open it just to shut them up. The coffee is in the freezer, you can admire my clutter, dust and dirt all you like, and I'll be happy to drag out the big box of random unassorted pictures of my kids from the last 25 years. emoticon

YOU have a huge heart and a beautiful soul! Merry Christmas to you and yours and may 2013 be wonderful!

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KATRINAKAT23 12/22/2012 2:23AM

  Waiting with open arms. What day can I look forward to? I go to be early and I don't want to miss the knocking of the door. emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 12/22/2012 1:57AM

    Hey, the door is always open for some Michelle and her Christmas cheer! But if you are expecting coffee, maybe you could start by saying Hola and singing a little Feliz Navidad! By that time, the coffee will be ready and I will have my curlers out and ready to chat!

After that, it sounds like a whole lot of fun! I mean, it would be fun, right? I'm not really a persistent person either, but it would be fun, right? ;)

I haven't known you since 2009 but it seems like it! You are a wonderful friend to me and so many others here on Spark! Your spirit in infectious and it helps to brighten our own just a little bit more! I'm sure I speak for many when I say that you are a blessing in our lives! A rebel kid turned rebel chick! Merry Christmas Michelle! No really, Merry Christmas Michelle! Coffee is on, the curlers are in! Love you!


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CARTOONB 12/22/2012 1:34AM

    I'm ready! I don't have curled or a housecoat or (gasp!) coffee, but you can come visit me any time!

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STEELKICKIN 12/22/2012 1:00AM


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WALLAHALLA 12/22/2012 12:59AM

    Bring your own coffee when you come...I'm more of a hot chocolate person, and seldom have coffee on hand. emoticon

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Season's Greetings!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I really wanted to lick the spoon after stirring my holiday fudge. I had it in mid-air, almost to my lips, when my brain screamed, "3.5 pounds! On your badonkadonk!" The spoon inched a little closer, my mouth salivating, when the phone rang, jarring me back to reality. It was a telemarketer. "Would you like to purchase a water filtration system?? No?? Well, why not?? Do you LIKE drinking dirty water??!" Back to the pan. By then the fudge had hardened and there would be no licking involved. Maybe nibbling. But I didn't. Sighing, I flung the spoon in the sink and unbuttoned the top button of my jeans so I could breath a little better.


MY fault. Family illness, new job, the holidays, have all added up to the perfect storm of time restraints, Reese's Cups and good-old-fashioned "just one won't hurt" thinking. I was so proud of myself. I was wearing Bre's jeans she wore in middle school. When they pulled up my thighs with ease a few weeks ago, I grabbed my hair brush and held it to my mouth, waving to the fantasy crowd before me. "Thank you, thank you. This would not have been possible without you, the little people, the Nature Valley people, the Special K people, the treadmill people!" Then I had to spit because I got a hair in my mouth. Then I felt stupid. But happy. Happy stupid.

Now I'm 3.5 pounds over. Ick. But doable to get off. I got this.

Ummm, let's see, what else has been happening? Brian is free of cancer. He still has to get a cat scan of his kidneys but we are confident that it is nothing too serious. My brother-in-law Shane is home after heart surgery with a heart monitor (being sassy but his wife is keeping him in line). Bre is home for the holidays. And I have two GLORIOUS weeks off of work! Oh, I like my job and my coworkers but I would much rather look at my family. And not have to wear a hard hat and steel-toed boots during meals and taking a whiz in the bathroom!

Other than that, life is treating me very well. I am going to be another year older here in a few weeks and I'm not liking THAT too well, but if I were to be honest, I'm not freaking out about it like I have done in the past. Well, except for last Saturday evening when I stopped at the market and got some Mike's Hard Lemonade. When the time came for me to get out my license to show proof of age, the young man behind the counter waved me off and said he didn't need to see it. I speechlessly froze. What??! I said, "Young man, you should always card when in doubt." "But I'm not in doubt." Putting my license back in my purse, I looked at him and said, "Just how old do you think I am?" Looking at me from side-to-side, he pursed his lips and quietly said, "35?" I will take that. But it still stung. Then I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and bought some Estee Lauder Synchronized Recovery Complex and Mirra Retinol Cream. And some Ben Gay. For my aching back.

Which reminds me of what happened the other night. I stood up from the recliner and my knees popped so much they made their very own break dance song. It didn't hurt at all but Brian got up and said, "Aww, baby, what's going on down there??" I suddenly grimaced and bent over to rub my right leg but he rubbed it for me. Smiling inwardly, I "hobbled" to the couch and allowed him to give me a foot massage. Mhm. It was like that. I might be getting older but I ain't no fool. I'll milk it. But not too much. I don't want to give it away.

I hope that you all are doing well. I have held you in my heart, thoughts and prayers even though I do not get much time to be in SparkLand anymore. I also hope that your holidays are off to a great start. With the craziness that is going on in the world, especially Connecticut, perhaps we will draw our friends and family a little closer this year. We need to remember what this time is really about anyways. It's not the gifts or the food, nor the decorating or the tree. It's Jesus and the fact that He was born to give us life. And it's our family and our friends. January 2nd will mark three years now that my brother was taken from us. What I wouldn't give to have him back for the holidays this year. To help me celebrate my birthday the next day. So, let's cling to the ones we have in our lives RIGHT NOW. Smooch their cheeks and tickle their ribs, stroke their hair and laugh at their silly jokes.

Just simply tell them, "I love you."

May God bless you all.

YOU are loved. Alot. By me. And don't you forget it.

Merry Christmas, angels.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARTOONB 12/22/2012 12:56AM

    I haven't been carded in years. It's not fair! LOL!

You were totally excited about getting to wear a hard hat and now you don't want to? Typical woman, changing her mind!

Hmmmm...birthday in a couple weeks. You are getting OLD! Old enough to celebrate it right!

So glad to hear that your family is healing.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

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SHARON10002 12/21/2012 11:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Hi, Michelle. I have really missed you, too! It's great to know that Brian is cancer-free. So very glad you will be enjoying some down-time with your family. Love the story about the fudge and the telemarketer. Remember, there are no coincidences in life! Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas because you soooo deserve it! Sending lots of loving vibes and hugs your way.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/21/2012 11:36:10 PM

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/21/2012 7:49AM


LOL. You know you are a "certain age" when your husband says, "Aww, baby, what's going on down there??" and then gives you a foot rub!!

God bless him!

........... emoticon
*./ | \ .*
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.. '* ♫♫♫*'
... ' *, '♫ ' ,* '*
..' * ♫*♥*♫ * '**
.. * , Merry' , * '
.* ' ♫♫*♥*♫b
35; ' * '
' * ' Christmas . ' * ' '

Comment edited on: 12/21/2012 7:49:42 AM

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LALMEIDA 12/20/2012 7:53PM

  Glad Brian is cancer free. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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BLAKBIRD 12/20/2012 7:06AM


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BKNOCK 12/19/2012 9:33PM

    Thanks for the laughs! Ben Gay smells to much for me, I use Icy Hot!

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 12/19/2012 9:51AM

    You had me rollin as usually , God gave you a great way to express yourself threw words and you are AMAZING with it !!! Have a wonderful Christmas and Birthday SF , you are loved and thought of often by me also!! Your so right live in the NOW cause tomm isn't for sure !! That's where I am at in my life God is good and each day I feel the prayers and blessing being sent my way XOXOX !!

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AJDOVER1 12/19/2012 9:07AM

    you are such a blessing to the world! Thanks for being there.

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PJSTIME 12/19/2012 6:10AM

    Glad to hear you in such wonderful holiday spirits. You instill good feelings in me and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And remember we ain't getting older we are getting better.

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MARINEMAMA 12/19/2012 5:26AM

    Girl you make me smile! You are gorgeous inside and out! Be blessed this holiday season! emoticon

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DOVESEYES 12/19/2012 5:00AM

    Lovely blog have a happy Christmas and birthday emoticon

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FLEMIDG 12/19/2012 12:06AM

    Hi, Michelle. I have missed you. I am so happy to hear that Brian is cancer-free. Glad you are enjoying some down-time with your family. Have a wonderful Christmas, you deserve it. Sending lots of love and hugs your way.


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 12/18/2012 11:18PM

    Ok, did you really go with "bandonkadonk"? Of course you did and it had me rolling from the beginning!

Glad to hear again all the positive news in your life! You can never hear that kind of stuff enough, especially with all you have been dealing with! Makes me wonder about that telemarketer on the phone calling at that exact time doesn't it? Good timing (which is hard to say about any telemarketer) and good for you for not giving in! Hey, the one lick/bite wouldn't have been much but like you said, its that "just one won't hurt" attitude that keeps the ball rolling in the wrong direction!

I am sure you can have the 3.5 lbs. off in no time! It may not be over the holidays but I have a feeling that you will be back sooner than later. You are that kind of chick :)

As for the carding...I mean kids these days! I'll tell you that if it were me, I would have to card you ;) Love you Michelle!


Comment edited on: 12/18/2012 11:18:46 PM

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KONRAD695 12/18/2012 11:01PM

    My comments to your blog.

1. Finally. a useful telemarketer.

2. 3.5 pounds. Take your BOOTS OFF

3. Bre's jeans. Husband used hot water and dried clothes too long.

4. Two week's off. "Lucky Duck"

5. Family health. emoticon

6. I.D.- I'd card you and say "This might be fake" "what's your number"

7. I use Olay Regenerist. Arnica not Ben Gay -- (really)

8. My knees could give the back beat to your dance song. (arnica again)

9. My wife loves a good foot massage. I love the happy endings!!

10. I hug and smooch everyone. (Really)

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CELESTE_B 12/18/2012 10:20PM

    Great to see you! Sounds like a very busy time for you!

3.5 isn't so horrible. You can do it!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/18/2012 9:51PM

    Lovely blog - I have missed you! Bondonkadonk - lol, I was laughing so hard...and yes I wanted to lick the spoon too just reading this! Sounds like things are going unbelievably well!

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WALLAHALLA 12/18/2012 9:33PM

    now that's enough to make me teary eyed

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 12/18/2012 9:27PM

    Great blog! You had me rollin'. Maybe a little divine intervention with the water purification salesman?? Good for you for resisting such temptation!

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JADOMB 12/18/2012 9:21PM

    Great job my friend and glad to hear all the good news. We'll get through this time period and you and our friends will get back to a more serious focus. Until then, enjoy Christmas, it's a time to get our spirits healthy along with our bodies.

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LACIEKAY 12/18/2012 9:03PM

3.5 pounds is cake considering the holidays. you got this emoticon
happy to hear about your husband(?) being cancer free! emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 12/18/2012 8:58PM


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Giving Thanks EVERY Day...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's been awhile since I've blogged. Time has been whizzin' by so quickly these last few weeks that at certain points I've forgotten to breath. A new job, a newly-found excitement in my relationships here at home have all taken up the majority of my time although I still sneak in here and spy on yer all's pages from time-to-time. Yeah, it's like that. It's my way of staying connected and keeping an eye on all of you trouble-makers, lol.

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone but this year's holiday was a different. It was the first time in SEVERAL years that I spent it with my father-in-law and mother-in-law and it was not a disappointment. We seemed to be able to flawlessly pick up where we left off and it was a treat in itself, aside from the vast array of "goodies" that were on the holiday table spread. (Bre has been down, too! We are putting up the tree during the Michigan/Ohio State game as we do every year.)

My job is different/weird/exciting. Fast-paced. Requiring alot of manual dexterity which I don't have but I AM LEARNING very quickly. My co-workers have come to appreciate my awkwardness and get great joy out of watching me walk into coat racks, losing combustible cans into the machines and sliding across the catwalks like they're made of ice. I am moving to second shift this coming Monday and they each have hugged me tightly and told me they are going to miss my one-woman comedy act. Lol. But the coolest thing about my job is the fact that this place really cares about the community and gives back, especially to the younguns. I was "all over that" the third day I was there and have joined two organizations that serve 23 community agencies. It is very satisfying. :) Plus I get to wear a hard hat!

Mr. Steelkickin and I have enjoyed several days off together. We have been blessed with this time in more ways than one. It saddens my heart to say this but he has to go for a biopsy on December 10th. I can't seem to get a few things straight out of him because I did not go with him for his follow-up on the bloodwork he received. He is not very good with medical terminology, but he is internally bleeding. It has something to do with his bladder, prostate and/or kidneys so I ask that you keep him in your prayers. It is a humbling reminder that we are human and things can go wrong. His side of the family has been plagued with cancer. Perhaps our "reconciliation" has came for a reason. I plan on being on my knees alot in prayer. I plan on sticking steadfastly by his side. I plan on fighting with him all the way if "fighting" is what we need to do. I plan on and WILL be the strength that he needs.

I hope that you each had a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope that you are enjoying your weekend and getting to spend as much time with your loved ones as possible. There is nothing more magnificent than relishing in the warmth of family, holding hands, hugging and just being present in the moment. We are never guaranteed another holiday. We are never guaranteed another day PERIOD. So I ask that you do YOURSELF a favor and kiss the lips that are smiling at you. Reach out and touch the cheek of your child, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, friend. Melt in the warmth of their embraces and laughter. Devour each precious second of their presence. Give thanks EVERY day for their life and the role that they play in YOURS...

God bless you. I love you. Most of all, I give thanks for you and the blessings that you have brought to me. You are all beautiful and precious in God's eyes and mine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNIAATROME 12/13/2012 11:45AM

    Love you! You have it in you to make people happy. I know you are strong to walk through all this. And I know that God gives good gifts. I wish you and Brian the best of them! emoticon

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 12/10/2012 1:15AM

  Praying for you and DH!! Keep us posted!!

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SHARON10002 12/4/2012 12:02AM

    I am so very happy to read that your Thanksgiving reunion was all you had hoped and prayed for and more! Your blog of driving to see your mother-in-law still is with me as I write this today. What a true Thanksgiving blessing!

So very happy, too, that you are loving your new job, and being embraced lovingly and joyously by your new co-workers.

I am so sorry to hear about your DH, and will keep you both in my prayers. Believe that your prayer is already answered. . .


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CATMAGNET 11/28/2012 2:04PM

    I'm so glad that you had such a great Thanksgiving, and I will make sure that your hubby is in my prayers...and of course, the cats' purrs. Never underestimate the power of kitty healing!

Love ya girl! ::hugs::

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LALMEIDA 11/27/2012 11:21PM

  Glad that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Praying for your husband and you. Hope he recovers quickly.

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BRADMILL2922 11/27/2012 5:14PM

    You should take that one-woman comedy act on the road! I'm sure it would be worth the price of admission ;)

Sorry to hear about what your husband is going through. I am sending all my good thoughts your way in hopes that everything turns out ok! It is a humble reminder on how precious life can be. I have no doubt that you will be the strength and that everything will turn out ok. I believe that!

I am glad to hear that you had a great Thanksgiving weekend with everyone including your in-laws. I am sure that had to be a lot of fun and I am glad you got to experience that after years of not being able to. Little things like that can be the biggest blessings in our lives. We all should give thanks for those things and more! What we live on a daily basis is beautiful, despite any hardships that we may go encounter. Those hardships just make it all the more sweeter!

Live, love, and laugh! Love you Michelle!


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BKNOCK 11/27/2012 12:06PM

    Wow, you never told me about Brian! I am glad I finally took a minute to read your blog. I am so happy to hear that Thanksgiving went well and you know that you are all in my prayers! emoticon

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 11/26/2012 10:39AM

    Glad you had a great Thanskgiving with your in-laws and all the blessings coming your way. I will keep you and your family in my prayers , hope your husbands thing goes okay. Have an amazing week yourself Michelle !

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WALLAHALLA 11/25/2012 11:33PM

    love your positive vibes

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TRENTDREAMER 11/25/2012 4:47PM


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JADOMB 11/25/2012 1:27PM

    I will definitely keep your hubby and you in my prayers. Stay strong, stay upbeat and keep the faith.

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    Sending positive thoughts and prayers for your DH in that all will work itself out. It's wonderful that your renewed love is there... and will be a great source of strength and will for him. emoticon

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MISHKALA 11/24/2012 9:30PM

    God never gives us more than we can handle, and know that He is with you. Your message hits home, and you are an example for so many to keep positive, even in times of adversity. God bless, and I'll be praying for you and your family. emoticon

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DOVESEYES 11/24/2012 7:36PM

    Thanks for sharing always a pleasure to read your blog.
Will be praying for you and hubby in the coming days it is a hard time and you feel like your world has stopped and everyone else is carrying on.

My hubby went through a similar time a few years ago.

But The Sparkers are lovely people and it is a blessing to know you can be so open and be heard.

emoticon emoticon

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KING_SLAYER 11/24/2012 6:23PM

    Glad to hear that your Thanksgiving went so well but also sorry to hear about your husband's upcoming biopsy. I've already said a prayer for him and your family, God bless and God speed.

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AJDOVER1 11/24/2012 5:56PM

    You and your family (especially your husband) are in my prayers.

I'm very thankful that you wear a hardhat on your job. Perhaps you could keep it on during the other 16 hours of your day.... (just a thought)

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CARTOONB 11/24/2012 3:30PM

    Can I come watch you work for one day? emoticon

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the mister.

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KONRAD695 11/24/2012 3:15PM

    I've never met you, but I know I Love You. Thank you for showing yourself again. I will pray for your husband, and for your strength. Lighting a candle every night.

Enjoy the win and perfect season.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 11/24/2012 12:03PM

    It warms the soul to read such genuine gratitude for life. It sounds like things are going very well. I hope everything goes well with your husband's biopsy.

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RAYLIENET 11/24/2012 11:55AM

    You are such an upbeat and positive person, I will be thinking of you and your family as well as praying.

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I Met My Husband Today

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I had no idea.

I had no idea that my lifestyle has felt "threatening" to my husband.

I had no idea that my time writing, painting, hiking, has left him feeling so ignored, unneeded and often times, unappreciated. I've spent so much time trying to find MYSELF that I left HIM behind. I had no idea. Until he TOLD me. Allow me to rephrase. Until he screamed it at me. Out of frustration. MANY hurtful things were said on both sides. I felt at the end of my rope. I left two weekends ago. For two and a half days.

But he called and asked me to come home for the Steelers game. WTH? He hates the Steelers. But I drove home and we barely spoke to one another until today. My heart was literally breaking into a million pieces inside. Were the things he said true? Was what I said true? Were we seriously growing apart on every level, not caring about the other, two worlds drifting apart, no longer attracted to one another, no longer willing to bend with the tide?? I was deeply scared. He and I have been through alot in our twenty+ years together and I was beginning to think that we were not going to make it through this one intact. In fact, for the last five years we have been mimicking our former selves...braving a face in front of others, tolerating each other at home.

But this morning...thank God for brand new days...he came to me. Before I knew it, he threw his arms around me, lifted me from the floor and squeezed so hard that it took my breath. I was flabbergasted; if truth be told, I was at a loss for what to do. I eyed him suspiciously as he sat me down and that is when I noticed the tears in his eyes. He asked me if I still loved him. He asked me if I was changing so I could leave him. He asked me if I thought he was too old for me. He asked me why I spent so much time writing, painting, doing the things that he couldn't do with all came rushing out in a torrent of anger, sadness, incredible honesty. He ended by saying I "left" him the day he almost died on the operating table in 2006.

God, that hit home.

Reeling, I couldn't think of a single thing to say. I had to excuse myself and I ran on my hiking trail, trying to make sense of what was said. But then I had to face the realization that what he said WAS true. And I had to face the fact that I DID "leave" him that day. I realized it was because I feared the day he WOULD leave me in that aspect and it was an incredible selfish act of self-preservation. Then suddenly, as if a movie projector was playing in my head, my mind started to replay the moments that he was reaching out to me over the years and I did not reciprocate. I sat under a tree and cried until I was literally gasping for air. Incredible shame enveloped me. Incredible pain shot through my heart...

I arrived in the back door and he was drying the dishes that I was washing before I left. He looked at me and he saw my swollen puffy eyes; laying the dishtowel down on the counter he held his arms out to me.

I ran into them so hard I almost knocked him down. He buried his face into my hair and I soaked the front of his shirt with slobber and more tears. Then he told me he was sorry. Gut wrenched with shame I whispered, " AM SORRY..."

We spent the rest of his time home before work glued to one another. Like, two really silly kids that just found a friend in each other. Oh, we have alot of work to do, but suddenly I don't feel so alone. I don't feel so alienated. I don't feel the need to worry if I am loved...or if I love him...

I had no idea.

But now I do.

And now I can rebuild. Allow me to rephrase once WE can rebuild.

It suddenly isn't so lonely anymore.

God bless you all today. Don't take anything for granted. Don't withhold love or hugs from the person in your life. Make every effort to appreciate them, understand them, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, listen to them...

By the way, this is Mr. Steelkickin...

I'm happy to have met him today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJSTIME 12/18/2012 7:44PM

    I am so glad that the honesty came out and you can now have a new beginning at wonderful new relationship. Your 20+ years can now double as you find newness in your relationship again.

What a great way to go into the holidays.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 12/12/2012 12:42AM

    I'm glad Mr. Steelkickin was honest with you about his feelings. Openness and honesty are the foundation for a great marriage. You have both made a great start!

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    I had a similar "discussion" with my husband about a month ago, only I was the one doing the shouting and crying out. I also did a sort of similar blog about this event and ended up deleting that particular blog but kept the blog of the next day that had more of a conclusion. Anyway,
I certainly can relate to this blog and, like many other commenters, brought me to tears. This marriage/relationship thing ain't so easy.

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LEMONYLOLA 11/19/2012 6:09AM

    i'm so happy it worked out for you and you were able to find each other again. thank you for sharing!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 11/18/2012 12:54PM

    wow - what an incredibly precious moment in your life that you were both able to break through years of mistrust and communicate so openly with so much love - it literally brings tears to my eyes. Wow.

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BKNOCK 11/14/2012 2:26PM

    Beautiful blog my friend! Nice to finally meet Mr. Steelkickin!

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JAYMELYNN5 11/14/2012 1:32PM

    omgoodness...I have goosebumps from head to toe!!! What a beautiful blog!! Thank you for sharing I'm so moved right now!!

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JBEAUFORD 11/10/2012 8:32PM

    What a touching thing to write. Tomorrow is my 5th anniversary with my 2nd husband. Trust me when I say that you do not want to find out how hard it is to make that fresh start, and you actually love your husband, so it is worth fighting for. My first husband was abusive in nearly every sense of the word, and by the time I got up the nerve to finally leave, I had lost faith that good men even existed. It sounds like you've got one right there. Take care of each other and may you have many more decades of happiness together!

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WORKNGONMENOW 11/10/2012 8:24PM

    glad that you and Brian have found eachother again.
Joe,and i went through the same thing,and it was hard.
love u so much

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AJDOVER1 11/10/2012 4:22PM

    you are so blessed -- and so is he

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FITGRL124 11/10/2012 9:22AM

    Your blog post made me cry. What an incredible, honest post. Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck to you both for a long happy 20+ more! emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 11/10/2012 7:34AM

    "He ended by saying I "left" him the day he almost died on the operating table in 2006. "
* Ouch.

" I sat under a tree and cried until I was literally gasping for air. Incredible shame enveloped me. Incredible pain shot through my heart... "
* You mention God at the end of almost every blog with a reference to being loved by Him. He's taken much guilt, shame and self-unforgiveness away from me this past year. He can do the same for you.

"And now I can rebuild. Allow me to rephrase once WE can rebuild.
It suddenly isn't so lonely anymore. "
* :)

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HDHAWK 11/9/2012 10:11PM

    How wonderful that your husband told you what was on his mind. You can't really move forward if you don't know the other person's feelings. It's a balance to be who you are and do what you love and include another person at the same time. Good luck to both of you. I have a good feeling about this!

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JUSTLIKEALICE 11/9/2012 9:47PM

    I am delighted to meet you both. I send you both love, and wish you all the happiness in the world for your future.

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DOVESEYES 11/9/2012 9:27PM

    Loved this blog thanks for putting it on, what a monumental turning point.
It is great you are both able to move on in a better place from a bitter, sad place.

How wonderful that you have caused us all who read this to pause and consider our own relatiionships.

Happy for you both. emoticon emoticon

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 11/9/2012 9:00PM

    I had read your blog quite a few hours ago & wanted to let it 'swish' around. Funny thing is is I was driving home tonight, rummaging thru all 3 radio stations that we get in the northwoods & heard this song. Steve Holy 'Love Don't Run.' I thought of you instantly.

I know you know that you are never given more than you can handle. You & your husband have got this, I feel in my core that this is doable, fixable. You both are evolving. How cool is that to rediscover your best friend?! Enjoy the journey :)


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MRFUZZ 11/9/2012 8:56PM

    Oh, you made me cry! Good tears! I'm so happy for you! What a sweet, wonderful blog! And a good reminder for the rest of us!

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CALIMAN1 11/9/2012 8:23PM

    amazing blog that touched my heart in so many ways. You are both incredibly blessed to have (found) one another (again). amazing.

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SAMMIESMOM13 11/9/2012 6:24PM

Good luck as you get re-acquainted and renewed. God Bless.

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SINGER73 11/9/2012 4:03PM

    That was just beautiful. I'm glad that you guys found each other again. It's gives the rest of us hope.

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AWOLF24 11/9/2012 3:53PM

    Fantastic blog. I am so happy for both of you. I'm sitting here at work with tears in my eyes after reading this...

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WALLAHALLA 11/9/2012 3:23PM

    Best blog I've read in a coon's age! You are a lucky woman. Too many men won't verbalize what they are feeling, they just leave. Hope you two find time for a 2nd honeymoon so that you can leave the cares of the world behind and just celebrate each other!

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CELESTE_B 11/9/2012 2:14PM

    I absolutely loved your honestly and feeling in your blog.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in your own life/issues that you totally forget about what the other person may be going through or feeling or thinking for that matter.

Thanks for sharing because it really brings me to a reality that I really need to appreciate my husband a little more.

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KING_SLAYER 11/9/2012 2:09PM

    Congratulations on "finding" each other again. Communicating is such an easy thing to do, but so often we forget to do it until it's too late. Good for your husband for not letting it get to "too late".

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 11/9/2012 12:50PM

    It sounds as if you and Mr. SK just unlocked the padlock to the next 20+ years. Keep communicating. Loved this blog!

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ANNANN63 11/9/2012 10:40AM

    I thank God that the two of you really talked. One thing I learned a few months ago: Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, all we truly have is today. Plan your life as if you will live to be 100 and live each day as if it is your last.

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DABLUECAT 11/9/2012 10:14AM

    Good for you both. emoticon

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SEXBOBOMB 11/9/2012 9:58AM

    This blog gives us just enough to understand and sympathize with what you both are going through without revealing the details that are unnecessary for us to know and invasive of yours & the Mister's privacy.

As traumatic as the discussions you've had may have been, they've opened a new door to your relationship, a wonderful thing! Cheers to that, and to that healing hug in the kitchen.

I've got a good feeling about the both of you!

Comment edited on: 11/9/2012 9:59:27 AM

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JADOMB 11/9/2012 9:53AM

    I am so glad that you have found your husband and that he has found you. These things happen with time and the pressures of life hitting us day in and day out. Also with your empty nest, it makes it harder to reconnect after so many years of putting time into raising good children. I truly know where you are coming from and my wife and I are also having to open our eyes and ears more to each other. We too find ourselves getting struggling to recognize and to reconnect in areas that we just took for granted.

So my prayers go out to you guys and I know you will do fine. Just be as patient and understanding now as you have been in the past and you may just find that you guys have a much stronger bond that you ever realized during all those years of just taking care of business. God bless

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CATMAGNET 11/9/2012 9:50AM

    You never fail to move me, darlin'. I know that when one person makes dramatic changes in a couple, it's hard sometimes for the other one to compensate. It's respect and communication that are truly the glue in any relationship. It sounds like you discovered that with your husband.

I wish you the best in this new chapter of your relationship with him! :)

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LIZZYP609 11/9/2012 9:02AM

    As I have shared with you, I too went through this with my husband just a few short years ago. We have rebuilt our marriage and I am so happy with him and all of his little faults. WE still have to struggle not to fall into old habits, but I can't stand to not text, speak or touch him multiply times in a day. He is my life.
I have faith in you and Mr SK will build a better marriage and life together. It will be hard but you will do it!

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MELTEAGUE 11/9/2012 8:42AM

    Wow! you had my in tears!Thank you for your honesty! You are a great writer too!

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CRYSTALJEM 11/9/2012 8:31AM

    This such a wonderful wonderful blog. It brought tears to my eyes, I can relate to it so much. I am so happy for you. Wishing you both the best of this part of your journey together. I hope it is all you both want it to be - and more. Thank you for sharing with us.

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JENNIFER_67 11/9/2012 6:42AM

    I am so happy you have found yourselves again.


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SARASMILING 11/9/2012 6:31AM


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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/9/2012 6:10AM

    This is an issue with my 20+ year marriage also.

That little insecure boy lives in all men. Good luck and keep us posted!

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FAERY_FACE 11/9/2012 4:52AM

    I am so glad that you've come to a point of starting anew. May the rest of your lives together be incredibly beautiful and wonderful and so much more than either of you could have hoped for or dreamed of.

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DJ4HEALTH 11/9/2012 12:08AM

    So glad that you were able to talk and will be working on your marriage. I think with your weight loss that he may have thought that you would leave him for some younger guy. Yes men do think that way. As with all people we do not like change and sometimes it is hard to change even if it is for our health.

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SHARON10002 11/8/2012 11:18PM

    Michelle, I admire your COURAGE and honesty in writing something like this for all of us to read. Isn't it amazing what our minds can make us do? Our insecurities? I have no doubt you two are in it for the long haul and will grow old together as you move forward. Your love for one another comes through in your actions in the midst of all of this. You've given us all something to think about. . . emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 11/8/2012 11:18PM

    That was so incredibly honest, powerful, heartbreaking, and inspiring all rolled into one. Hate hearing you guys having to go through such heartache but these are the things that we work through and come out on the other side so much better off!

I believe you guys will do just that. Now that it is all on the table, you guys can begin to rebuild. It will take work but I am sure that it will be worth it in the end!

I wish both of you nothing but the best and much, much better days to come!


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JERMADSON7 11/8/2012 10:48PM

    Ha! Looks like those woods are good for more than just hiking, SK...

This is precisely why we respect you. You're not afraid to tell it. Gives us all something to chew on for a little while.

You guys are going to be just fine. Trust that.

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ANDREAG89 11/8/2012 10:31PM

    What an amazing outpouring of emotions. Thank you so much for sharing such intimate details of something that might not have been that easy to admit to yourself, then alone to a i-world full of strangers. It's a great reminder to remember and be with our loved ones during our quest to find ourselves.


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SASIKHASI1 11/8/2012 10:28PM

    I just went and did something to my husbad that rocked his boat!! LOL He was shocked and very surprised. We need to remember our men and what they are about for sure.

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KIPPER15 11/8/2012 10:15PM

    Wow, very powerful, thank you for sharing. I wish you the best of luck. emoticon

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KONRAD695 11/8/2012 10:14PM

    emoticon A lot of them. I understand. emoticon

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IAMLOVEDBYYOU 11/8/2012 9:59PM

    I love this. Love love love.

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HHB4181 11/8/2012 9:57PM

    wow.... i hope you guys work it out, sounds like you're on the right path. emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 11/8/2012 9:47PM

    What a beautiful story!

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HUNGRY4ACUREMOM 11/8/2012 9:43PM

    Thank you for your honesty. It truly made me look at my relationship with my husband tonight! I wish you two the best!

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    What an incredible blog... I'm happy that you met your husband again today... Life truly is short and we should never take anything for granted.

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