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It Doesn't Take A Brick To Fall...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We've all seen her. The little girl in the corner at the party with her arms folded across her chest and a pouty mouth, mad because something didn't go her way. The people around her are trying their best to make her smile, to reassure her that it's going to be okay, just come out and have some fun. She won't look anyone in the eye and quickly turns away from them with tears in her eyes, defiant and a little testy. All she can think of is how "unfair" life seems to be...

A couple of weeks ago I got hurt at work which resulted in an accident report, a few days of being incapacitated on the couch and light duty at work. Not to mention the ultimate loss of a friendship that I didn't have the energy to try to maintain anymore. I went into "pout-mode." Then my weight increased. (I am now back up to 124.5.) I ate to numb the physical and emotional pain. My appetite/cravings escalated and now it's a battle to keep them under control. There is the rabbit's always lurking but this time it seemed bigger and strangely more welcoming. Self-pity? I was and still am the poster child for it. But...

You guys won't let me wallow, will you? I've checked my page...the SparkMails are overwhelming with kindness and concern. The goodies spoke equally as much. Now you guys have resorted to commenting on my page, some with "tough love." (I gotta admit, one of them really ticked me off but I guess it got me on here spilling my guts. But I will deal with "you" later in a private message and it won't be pretty so consider yourself for-warned.)

It doesn't take a brick to fall on my head to know you all care. But I'm still a little mad. I feel a little failure in the fact that sometimes my health gets all screwy and I can't run with the big dogs. I'm ticked that a friend decided that, after all, I WAS just an option, no matter how much I cared and tried to be there for them and "checked out." But it gave me time to see the others around me who really DO have my best interests at heart. Who really do love me for...ME. So I thank that person for allowing me to realize my worth does not lie in their eyes. I thank that person for helping me to see the others around me who truly care about my heart and what it stands for.

Like Betsy. And Brad. These two people have basically kept tabs on me every day. I would say they are my two greatest friends. No matter if I was at work or home, I would check my phone or go to break and find a funny text or a sweet voicemail. Even a funny picture or two. It's kinda hard to stand in the corner pouting when you get a funny pic of Dewey posing for the camera (Dewey is Betsy's extremely handsome cat, btw) or a hand-drawn picture of a stick figure with arms open wide screaming, "I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!!

Or even this cute little pic from my daughter exclaiming that two heads are better than one...

Sooo, I guess it's time to let a little smile replace the pout, even though the arms are still folded, albeit not as tightly, across my chest. I'm looking secretly out of the corner of my eye and feeling a little break in my defiant attitude. I want to slowly join in the party again. Yes, I'm still a little miffed at myself, weight gain and all, but I will get back out there on my trail again, huffing and puffing off the pounds. So, you see, PumpedUp, I did not quit. I may have felt like it, been tempted to do it, threatened to do it and had myself believing that I did it, but there is a spirit in me that won't allow me to. So there.

It's time to see, feel and enjoy the company of my TRUE friends. Who never gave up on me. Or who kindly gave me the space to go through the torrent of emotions that needed to be steamed off.

I'm healing. I will be okay.

God bless. You are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 2/17/2013 11:54PM

    Michelle, I'm sorry that you've been navigating potholes in your life lately. So very sorry to hear about your accident at work. But I am TRULY glad to see you back and read this blog. I have missed you! But I also knew that you were having to concentrate what little energy you had, and trying to bring yourself back into balance once again.

I know that little pouty girl myself. It's rough when she decides to show up. I know she is trying as only she knows how to protect me, but I also know that I just have to let her be, not judge her, and she'll leave on her own accord eventually. I've gained back much of the weight I lost too, so I know how you feel. It's hard not to let those ANTS get to us, and make us crazy. Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves. You have been an example of that to me through your blogs, and your precious notes, and goodies.

I stumbled upon your page by accident, and I'm here to tell you that it is one of the best accidents that I've had in this lifetime. You set the bar high, Michelle, but in the best possible way. You are a shining star to me, and your spark has illuminated many a dark night for me.

I've missed you. . . You are so loved.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 2/15/2013 8:16AM

    Oh, that little girl resides in me too. No worries for us though because we KNOW she is there.

Give her a big hug for me!!


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GEEMAWEST 2/14/2013 12:09PM

    These 'rough patches' are never fun but they make us stronger. I too am struggling right now. Just lost my job. I spent time wallowing and now I need to move on.

We can do this!! Hang in there, Michelle. You are a very strong woman.

Love and Hugs!

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TNGRAHAM 2/14/2013 11:09AM

    I saw your post and had to leave a comment.
I too had a rough patch it lasted almost 3 years I gained most of the weight back that I had lost, I am now back on track and hope to stay there. Good Luck to you in YOUR journey don't let anyone dictate to you how your supposed to do this. emoticon
Taniya a fellow sparker

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JUNIAATROME 2/14/2013 10:03AM

    Welcome back on track - makes two of us already. emoticon

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 2/14/2013 12:31AM

    Glad you are back in action my friend !! You have been missed but sometimes we all need to do is step back look over the bigger picture and you are right, you are not a quitter , you are anything but !!! You may kick us when we are down but once we get up your screwed !!! Hope you are feeling better from your work injury :( You know who has your back anytime this SF for sure !! You are loved Michelle , by many here and in your personally life I sure of it:) Have a good rest of the week !! XOXO

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SPUNKYDUCKY 2/14/2013 12:22AM

    Hey beautiful, I am in Belize on vacation but I just wanted to reach out and send some love your way. I am also a pouty girl so I know how you are feeling. I am sorry for the loss of your friend - regardless of whether or not he/she was a true friend, I know it hurts to feel rejected. I am sorry too that your body has been a source of stress and not a source of comfort. It is hard to keep a positive mood when you are cooped up, sick and in general short on endorphins. Regardless, you are wonderful and you will be back on top of the world soon. If it helps to know that people care - here I am - I care!
Take care of you,

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ARUNNINGKAT 2/13/2013 2:43PM

    So sorry to hear about all that you are going through! I have missed your comments and involvement on Spark, although I admit I have not been so good at expressing that and checking up on you like some others have. Sorry about that! You have been such a huge encouragement to me and I am glad to have you as a Sparkfriend! Hope you feel better soon! emoticon emoticon

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JADOMB 2/13/2013 12:01PM

    Thank you for letting us back in to your thoughts. I know before this year I didn't know you from Adam. (or would that be EVE?) anyway, I've come to know you like a best friend or sister and don't want to lose you. I look forward to your posts and your stories and knowing that I have a great friend I can always talk with. DON'T YOU EVER LEAVE ME AGAIN. ;-)

So sorry to hear that things went south for a bit and I pray things will get better soon. In times like these I know space is sometimes the best medicine and I will always give you what you need to work things out. I also can go through the pouty stage from time to time and it doesn't seem like any of my old tricks helps me through them. But eventually I regain my strength, dust myself off and go forward. I know you can too.

So take your time, find your strength, and know that we are all here to help when you need it. God bless, my good friend.

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TRENTDREAMER 2/13/2013 8:33AM

    "We've all seen her. The little girl in the corner at the party with her arms folded across her chest and a pouty mouth, mad because something didn't go her way."
* It's amazing how quickly people jump to the conclusion that having negative emotions turns them into little whiny/pouty little kids.

"The people around her are trying their best to make her smile, to reassure her that it's going to be okay, just come out and have some fun. "
* Yes, people who do that make it worse.
"make bad emotions go away!!........they make me uncomfortable......can't address.......'Pity Party!!'".

(That's why when I'm struggling with sadness, frustration and disappointment, I stop talking to anyone I'm not really close with for a time. Makes the noise go away.)

"A couple of weeks ago I got hurt at work which resulted in an accident report, a few days of being incapacitated on the couch and light duty at work. Not to mention the ultimate loss of a friendship that I didn't have the energy to try to maintain anymore. "
* Really sorry to hear about these. Both of those would really hit me hard. emoticon emoticon

"You guys won't let me wallow, will you? "
* I absolutely will let you! In fact I strongly encourage you to do so.
* Feel it. Experience it. Work through it.
* In both cases you've lost something (even if only for a season)...
* grieve them.
Please don't make me write another "Power of Negative Thinking" blog.

"Now you guys have resorted to commenting on my page, some with 'tough love.'"
* I haven't read the comments, I admit. If it the usual "tough love" that involves the usual cliches, then it's anything but tough. It's avoidance.

Trent's "Really-Really-This-Love-Might-Kill
-You-Type-of-Tough-Love" Love:
* Don't get over it. Get through it. Process it.
* Experience the pain. Treat yourself exactly as you would treat someone else going through the same thing.
* Find someone who you've been close with who you have been able to experience this type of thing with and lean on them for a season. Make this a real person and real friend, not a lucky rabbits foot deity or acquaintance who only knows what you give them.

"Then my weight increased. (I am now back up to 124.5.) "
* Really sorry to hear. Weight gain is big-time frustrating.

" I'm ticked that a friend decided that, after all, I WAS just an option, no matter how much I cared and tried to be there for them and "checked out.""
* again emoticon emoticon

" I would say they are my two greatest friends. No matter if I was at work or home, I would check my phone or go to break and find a funny text or a sweet voicemail. "
* I'm very thankful that you have them in your life.

"Sooo, I guess it's time to let a little smile replace the pout, even though the arms are still folded, "
* I stand by what I said earlier. Please make sure that it is.

"It's time to see, feel and enjoy the company of my TRUE friends. Who never gave up on me. Or who kindly gave me the space to go through the torrent of emotions that needed to be steamed off. "
* Amen!

"I'm healing. I will be okay. "
* w00t!

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BKNOCK 2/13/2013 6:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/13/2013 6:46:15 AM

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CELESTE_B 2/13/2013 6:30AM the photo's! What great friends to have.

I recently had the spat with a friend. I have to admit...she wont be missed. She's the type that like to start problems and when you call her on it (which is what I did) she blew up. She even turned it around that she was the victim in the end.

Thing is, sometimes there are people in our lives that really don't belong. Kind of like that car you bought when you were single. It was fast, only had two doors and it was cool. You loved to drive it. It was perfect. Then, you got married and decided that you wanted a more practical car. You still love your old car but you decided to keep it around. Every day, you pull in your driveway and see the car. You know it's not for you anymore but you look at it and you don't want to part with it. But in your heart of heart you know it's time to let it go.

Friends are like that. Through life you'll have lots of friends. You'll also have those core friends you've had since grade school. Those are the friends you can see once a year and it's almost like you never missed a beat.

Then, you have friends you enjoy spending time with and you don't always get to see each other but you make time.

Then you have friends that are more like acquaintances. They seem like a big deal...but really when the tough get going...they're gone.

Your worth so much more than that...and don't get me wrong acquaintances are nice. Some will surprise you...but you can't let it get you down when they feel overwhelmed by something going on in their life. Lord knows, they may have something going on in theirs they don't really know how to deal with.

Big hugs to you. Get your workouts in and the weight will come off. You know it will.

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MARINEMAMA 2/13/2013 5:17AM

    Smile beautiful! Sorry about your rough patch! It's time to dust yourself off and spread your sunshine! emoticon

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DOVESEYES 2/13/2013 12:53AM

    Oh what a time you have had ...sorry... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLEMIDG 2/13/2013 12:27AM

    Sorry you had some bad times. Good for you for not giving up. You are too special for that. You are so loved. I love the pic of your daughter. Put the past behind you and reach for the future. You can do this. We're all pulling for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 2/12/2013 11:39PM

    Lift that chin up, unfold those arms, and turn that frown upside down! Why? Have you seen how cute that "two heads are better than one" picture is? What a great picture! I also think the "I love you this much" picture is full of awesomeness but I may be a bit biased on that one!

Your spirit is to strong, your smile is to bright, and your your soul is beautiful to be held down for to long. You may come across the ever present rabbit hole but I for one will stretch across it to help keep you from tumbling down!

Life can be unfair and the self-pity may want to take over but you have people who DO have your best interests at heart and who DO love you for YOU! But, if you were to tumble down that rabbit hole from time to time, just check that picture and see how far those arms will stretch to catch you. Just sayin'.

You will be ok. YOU ARE LOVED.


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KING_SLAYER 2/12/2013 11:07PM


I am so happy that you are back, you are that ray of sunshine that brightens everyone's day! I know my world was just a little more bleak while you were gone, but now you're back and the world seems to be getting itself back in order.

Welcome home :)

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WALLAHALLA 2/12/2013 11:06PM

    Gotta love that picture of your daughter. I had a stinky evening, and that made me laugh out loud. Glad to hear you are recovering.

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KATRINAKAT23 2/12/2013 10:59PM

  emoticon emoticon

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MCSPRYGADA 2/12/2013 10:58PM

    Beautiful writing and a beautiful testament to your character!

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AJDOVER1 2/12/2013 10:38PM

    It's GREAT to see you back!
emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 2/12/2013 10:32PM

    I'm sorry that you've been through a rough patch. But once again, you've pulled through and set yourself straight...with help from those who love you most. Missed you.

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A Little Ramble

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One of my challenges in life has been my illness. Most of you know, I have lupus. I always carry a low-grade fever and deal with muscular and joint aches on a day-to-day basis. I have been on every medication that treats it and have had to discontinue them because of the side effects. I have also used home remedies, herbal therapies, modified my diet, etc., etc., but still have to deal with some very bad days when it just wants to rear its ugly head and make my life, well, hell.

There are times when it not only makes day-to-day activities very difficult and painful, it wears and tears on the spirit as well. I'm not a vain person but I take alot of pride in my appearance. I believe in looking your best even if you're just running to the grocery store for milk. But it would seem this disease doesn't care about that. When the rash appears, it comes with a vengeance. No amount of make-up or creams will cover it. At times, to this day, I still cry when it happens because the little girl inside of me is afraid of being laughed at or shunned.

I cried last week before work when I woke up to the pain, swelling and rash. I was scared. My new coworkers had not seen this side of me. They met me with understanding and compassion. Some even put their arm around me and asked if they could help with some of my responsibilities. That helped. Of course I was stubborn and insisted that I could still function at my normal capacity. And I did. But inside I still die a little bit when this hits me. But I am surviving. I WILL survive.

The rash is now subsiding a little. It seems to have lasted a little longer than normal this time and my eyes are still swollen terribly!

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support and understanding. It helps to complain a little, lol. So thank you for listening to that as well. :) I hope that you all are doing well and had a very wonderful weekend. I miss getting on here and aggravating you all like I used to. For some reason "torturing" others makes me feel better, lol. I carry you all in my heart and hold you in my prayers each and every day.

God bless you. I sure do love you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARINEMAMA 1/30/2013 7:50PM


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SPARKONSKATES 1/20/2013 8:21PM

    awww I'm sorry. I have a friend who has Lupus. Prayers for you. Hugs. I hope your feeling better now and the rash clears up and the new job and coworkers learn to help you through the tough times. emoticon

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/20/2013 1:39PM

    Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and happy that you are feeling better.

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FAERY_FACE 1/18/2013 4:37AM

    Michelle, all my prayers go out to you. I really hope that in 2013, will will have more good and "feel great" days than there are in the Year! I am really glad that your co-workers are so supportive. emoticon

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SHARON10002 1/17/2013 10:26PM

    Michelle, I am so glad to keep reading about your co-workers, and how they are truly embracing you and all that you are. On the other hand, I am so sorry that you are not feeling well right now. Please know that I am sending you healing vibes as I type this, and will keep you close in thought and in my prayers . . . I do miss seeing you here, and was thrilled to see you were online! Must have been ESP because I was just getting ready to come over and leave you a note and a goodie - which I'll do now!!!! emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JADOMB 1/15/2013 10:29PM

    emoticon I only wish I could be there when you need that hug or a shoulder to lean on my friend. emoticon I will always keep you in my prayers. God bless and watch over you.

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BKNOCK 1/15/2013 2:41PM

    I am glad that you have support work so much better than that "other" place. I hope that you are soon feeling better and I am glad that you "dropped" by!

Love ya,


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STAYCXL-NOMORE 1/15/2013 9:58AM

    Michelle , you are one of the most beautiful woman emoticon I have ever met and guess what I haven't even seen you personally , the lupus makes you who you are inside and out and if a little rash and swollen eyes even tore a piece of that amazing heart you have don't let it cause my friend your beauty is within and every time you talk or even are in the presence of people that know you , I am sure your looks are the last thing they see !! The person inside ... lights your path my friend and that lady is amazing !! Swollen eyes , rash , bone aches and all :)
Love u

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WALLAHALLA 1/14/2013 7:26PM

    My heart goes out to you. Too bad wishes can't make it all go away, but I send you a wish and a prayer anyway.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 1/14/2013 12:36PM


Any kind of illness that causes chronic pain will just wear on the soul. Just remember that the pain is not who you are. You are doing great!

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 1/14/2013 3:32AM

  Bring it!! LOL!! Whatever helps make you feel better, we can handle it. emoticon

Know that I emoticon you and include you in my prayers.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 1/14/2013 1:14AM

    I think I can speak for many people saying that we sure have missed seeing you around these parts recently :)

With that said, I can't even pretend to know the kind of pain that you deal with on a daily basis or when your illness decides to really kick your butt. I hate to hear that you have to go through any of that stuff but I do hope you get to feeling better really soon!

You have to go through a lot, and I definitely admire your resilience. I know it wears and tears on your spirit but I sure wouldn't know it! You are one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever known! You are a friend to many here on Spark and you have touched them all with your never-break-uplifting spirit! That's you! That is the Michelle we all know! Trust me when I say that no rash will keep down the kind of beauty you posses in your soul!

So I say, complain, aggravate, and torture away! It just wouldn't be as fun around here if you didn't! Keep your chin up Michelle and remember that you are loved!


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FLEMIDG 1/14/2013 12:18AM

    Hi, Michelle. I have missed you. I am glad you have such a wonderful, supportive group at work. I am sorry to hear you are having so many health issues. You are in my prayers. You are loved a lot. God bless you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 1/13/2013 11:18PM

    You definitely made the right choice moving to this job...sounds like your new coworkers are the kind of people you want to be around. Hope you start feeling better and the outbreaks are few and far between.

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AJDOVER1 1/13/2013 10:12PM

    Never feel that you're alone. We may have different struggles, but we share this journey one step at a time.

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KING_SLAYER 1/13/2013 9:59PM

    I'm sure you know the saying "God only gives us what He knows we can handle". But I'm sure that you're like me in wishing He didn't have so much trust in how much we could handle! Would be nice to get a respite from both the seen and the unseen weights that we must carry. They surely do take their toll. I hope you are feeling much better soon :)

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LMB-ESQ 1/13/2013 7:34PM

    emoticon People sure can step up when you need them to, don't they?

Comment edited on: 1/13/2013 7:35:10 PM

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CELESTE_B 1/13/2013 7:24PM

    Very Big hug to you!

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KONRAD695 1/13/2013 6:29PM

    Last October I remember a little rough patch where I had sent you some candles, and said I would light on for you that night. We're on candle number 7 or 8 now, but I still light it every night. A few people have borrowed it, and Lord knows I've been using it a lot lately. Tonight I'll make sure you get it back.
I believe it is Christmas Wreath scent. It's got to be hard, but hang tough. I'll send you all the extra energy I can. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 1/13/2013 5:32PM

    I really do understand how you feel. When I first got the 'butterfly' face rash about 12 years ago I was so embarrassed to even go to the pharmacy to get the medication. I felt like everyone was looking at me and wondering what was wrong with me. I am so happy that your coworkers were understanding. There is nothing wrong with letting someone help you with some of your work. In fact, it takes a strong person to accept help.

Hugs emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAM_HIS2 1/13/2013 5:32PM

    Michelle, I truly feel your pain. I do not have lupus, however, I have RA, fibromyaglia and MS. There are days when I cannot walk and I see my feet and hands twisting from the RA and so much nerve pain from the fibromyalgia. Your quality of life is affected and I feel less independent. I have found following an anti-inflammatory diet helps.

I hope you check out the Fighting Inflammation & Enjoying Your Life! team for the foo list. It really does help.

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LYNNA1968 1/13/2013 5:03PM

    LOL torture away!!! I wish there was magic cure to make you feel better, its reassuring to know that you work with people that will help you out. Feel better and stay strong!!!!

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LUNADRAGON 1/13/2013 4:55PM

    Thinking of you. Bravo!

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KATRINAKAT23 1/13/2013 3:34PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/13/2013 3:35:40 PM

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Husband For Sale

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It all started with the Steelers/Bengals game December 23. That all important game that would determine if the Steelers were still "in the hunt" for the AFC playoffs that could ultimately take them to the Super Bowl in the new year. Being married to a Bengals fan has never been easy. They are a different breed all of their own. My husband is a different breed all of his own. So combine the two and you get a really-weird-psycho-mix of, well, psycho.

The Bengals won. As I sat there in silence, blinking, Brian was dancing in circles around me, eyes wide with wonder and amazement, churning his hips and pumping his fists around me and his own head. Then he began rapping. "Who dey? Yeah, who DEY! Dey is da team that won TOO-DAY!" Then, as he folded his arms across his chest and allowed his swiveling butt to come to a standstill he drove it home with an Austin Powers imitation of, "YEEEAH, Bay-beee."

I didn't like him anymore. He didn't get dinner that day.

He had the whole week off from work and by yesterday I didn't trust myself near him with sharp objects, flammable products or matches. He was just absolutely wound for sound during this time and by day three I was hiding in the bathroom with the phone. I called his parents, begging them to call to invite him over for the day. They suspiciously asked me why and the conversations ended with, "No, honey, sorry. We love you but not that much. We don't have enough nerve pills to last us for the day."

I couldn't go to the bathroom alone. He would actually text me while I was taking a bath with things like, "I see you through the key hole" or "Been awhile since I've seen THAT mole." Or when I was on the toilet I would see a note pass under the door. I knew he was purposefully being annoying. The joy in his eyes when I would groan or stare at him in bewilderment was more than I could bear at times. The days wore on. I was hoping the "next day" would bring calm. It only got worse.

Then he saw my winter hiking blogs.

"Who wants to see pictures of snow???"
"It's not just pics of snow. It's my HIKE."
"No. It's snow. No one wants to see them."
"How do YOU know what people want to see?"
"Well, I know they don't wanna see snow. Have you considered the fact that you are NOT a photographer. You should have AT LEAST tried to capture a bird or a deer or sumthun."
"Bite me. It's a weight loss site. No one wants to see birds or deer. They want to hear about hiking, running, exercise..."
"Post my motorcycle paintings."
"I bet if you posted my motorcycle paintings you'd get a lot of hits."
"I bet if you don't knock it off YOU'RE gonna get alot of hits."

One day he walked into the bathroom while I was applying my wrinkle cream.
"You still using that???"
"I've used it for fifteen years, Brian. You know that."
"When's it supposed to kick in?"
Then the next evening I walked in on him and he was dabbing it onto his bald spot. I noted white stuff in his nose and saw my tube of depilatory cream on the stand. I slowly backed out of the room.

The night before last I had enough. I love him. Everyone knows that. Right? But the spells, prayers and burning of incense didn't have any affect on his hyperness or pranks. I was getting his medications ready and I caught the Benadryl out of the corner of my eye. Yes. I did. Two of them. (Oh, shut up, they give it to BABIES.) A half hour after taking his pills he looked over at me all dreamy-eyed and said he was suddenly sleepy. Ten minutes later he was out like a light. I looked at his face, mouth gaping wide, and felt guilty for a few minutes. He was so quiet and serene. Then I dragged him by his ankles to the bed and covered him with the blankets lovingly and snugly. VERY snugly. I held the remote to the television closely to my chest the rest of the evening. It was mine. Kinda like how squirrels act with their nuts.

DON'T judge me...

He went back to work today. I go back tomorrow. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.

I love him. But I love to miss him sometimes, too.

I wish you all a very wonderful and amazing 2013. I would like to share with you all a message I received from touched me and resonated with truth and honesty. We can wish for perfection this coming year but it is not humanly possible. So remember...with imperfection can come growth.

"I hope that in the year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing the world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're DOING SOMETHING.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes, make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever."

- Neil Gaiman

BTW, send inquiries for Brian through my SparkMail. My prices are pretty reasonable.

God bless. You are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAR8MM 1/21/2013 9:38AM

    Benadryl, huh? Somebody told me once the difference between girls and women. When girls go crazy, they show their tits. When women go crazy, they poison their husbands. Jus' sayin'! Luv ya!

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SPARKONSKATES 1/20/2013 8:12PM

    Oh this is funny... your too much !! I freakin love it.
Great blog.
You rock sparkfriend !!
So glad I ran into your page today because your the MOD !!
You shead some light on a few things I needed to hear too, emoticon
Your a real sharp blogger

Michaele sounds like Michelle
Happy 2013 to you !!

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MY_YEAR_OF_ME 1/20/2013 4:56PM

    Try being with a Brown's fan..ugh. Benadryl...wish i had thought of that..thanks for the laugh

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 1/15/2013 12:46PM

    Its rough being a Steelers fan in Bengals country, I know only too well.
Hang tough. We'll get 'em next year!

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 1/14/2013 3:19AM

  Well, you already know I'm a Packers fan (and yes, YOU DO still love me ha!) but my husband is a Steelers fan and when they aren't playing, also a Whiner's, I mean Niners fan so I get the pain DOUBLE!! While I know it will pain you to hear it, I must say I was THRILLED when the Packers beat his beloved Steelers in the Super Bowl, only to make him eat all the crow he has given me over the years. So I share your pain of being married to those who don't know better than to root for the correct team. LOL! My DH can be fairly obnoxious himself so I share your pain, too. Maybe we can put them up for sale as a two for one special!! emoticon

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SAMMIESMOM13 1/12/2013 5:07PM

    Thank you SO MUCH for such a funny blog. I'm SO GLAD I am not married to a sports fan. I could NOT stand it! But then, I made sure of that before I married him! LOL.

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BKNOCK 1/11/2013 9:34PM

    Wow, I finally read this! Thank you so much for the laugh!

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SHARON10002 1/4/2013 11:57PM

    Michelle, just one question . . .
How many years until retirement?!
Look at it as practice . . .
emoticon emoticon

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AJDOVER1 1/3/2013 2:14PM

    Wanna trade? My guy is a Raider's fan (remember Week 3).

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IAM_HIS2 1/3/2013 9:14AM

    Laughed so hard reading this. Thank you for this blog. It got in a playful mood. emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/3/2013 8:37AM


Looks like your sales offer is well on it's way to passing the comments left for your hike!

Maybe you are on to something... emoticon

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CELESTE_B 1/3/2013 6:39AM

    Oh boy! I so feel your pain...and really enjoyed reading your blog. It's amazing to me how we can love them so much in one minute and want to torture the crap out of them the next. It's almost like a roller coaster.

It's refreshing to know that I'm not alone and I think I'm halfway normal,

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KING_SLAYER 1/3/2013 2:13AM

    Benadryl, so much easier to use than chloroform! Great blog :)

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BRADMILL2922 1/3/2013 1:50AM

    You're funny, but that isn't anything new! I've told you that 100 times and its true every time. I've also say that I love you and your blogs, but again, nothing new there either. There is no exception here either...I love you and your blog!

You always manage to run a gamet of emotions through your stories. There are the funny parts, then the heart felt stuff, followed by joy, frustration, sarcastic, funny...I could go on and on. But as funny as your story is, I see the under lying story shinning through to the fore front. This blog is a true love story 20+ years in the making! All that aggravation and extra energy is really from true love and how great is that?

That is the fun stuff. That is the memories that you will always have with you even in times that aren't as joyous. That stuff is priceless and ever lasting in your love for one another. That, is life.

He is a lucky husband and you a lucky wife to have found the other to have such moments with and that is a true blessing...even if he is a Bungles fan ;)


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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/3/2013 12:03AM

    Thank you for the LOL giggling that I have been doing for the past several minutes since reading your blog...truly more a guffaw, than a giggle! You are awesomeness!

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SNOWSNAKE 1/2/2013 9:37PM

    I can hardly see the keyboard to type my responce, nor type fast enough to let you know that this is one of the most enertaining, true to life, spontaneous and moving "Love Stories" that I have heard in a long time! I do believe that you and your man have mastered your relationship in the best ways possible....there is so much playfulness, mindfulness, creativeness, stubborness, give and take....and absolutely nothing boring about your L O V E. Thank you for making my day, I see so much in common in my own marriage, particularly the "tongue in cheek" kidding and teasing, without being hurtful. You both have your hands full, and it will NEVER be boring! Cheers for the New Year! ***SNOW*** emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 1/2/2013 9:28PM

    OMG! You couldn't pay me enough to take him off your hands. Sorry girlfriend, you're stuck with him!

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CARTOONB 1/2/2013 9:18PM

    How much are you offering to give me to take him? emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 1/2/2013 8:21PM


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ARUNNINGKAT 1/2/2013 7:29PM

    What is it about guys who need attention??? My husband can be downright annoying sometimes too - all in his pursuit of attention! I sometimes tell him he is a kid who never quite grew up. But as much as it frustrates me, I am pretty sure I would miss it if he suddenly stopped. emoticon

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WALLAHALLA 1/2/2013 7:29PM

    Cowboys lost. I just shut my mouth and hid for twelve hours 'til the rage had subsided. I haven't tried Benadryl , but I have been guilty of Nyquil. emoticon I can't imagine what it will be like when we are both retired.

Please share more snow pics!!! We have none, so I am stuck living vicariously through others. emoticon

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JADOMB 1/2/2013 7:14PM

    If mistakes make a bigger man, then I should be a GIANT by now.

As far as your husband goes, you best ask for a very high price and expect NO takers. Cuz he sounds priceless to me. You got a good man, even when sedated.

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DOVESEYES 1/2/2013 6:59PM

    Oh you poor thing but I loved this blog thanks emoticon

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KONRAD695 1/2/2013 5:42PM


I'm from Michigan, we have the LIONS. You're going to have to suck it up a little. Your boys will be back in around 32 weeks. Mine will still be "RE-ReBuilding"

Does the benadryl make him snore? I think it might be my wife's problem.

If you post some pics of your husband washing dishes, clothing, or windows you might get some higher priced bids. If that doesn't work, try the snowblower. Just trying to help.

On the serious side. I love your writing, and this blog. May all your mistakes be little, and your successes be big.

Comment edited on: 1/2/2013 5:43:17 PM

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KIMCOLLINGS 1/2/2013 5:39PM

    Oh my goodness...that was so funny. when I got to the part about the wrinkle cream I literally LOL'ed.

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 1/2/2013 5:32PM

    OK, the Austin Powers thing would've been the 'that's it' point! Too funny! Best wishes in 2013!

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LMB-ESQ 1/2/2013 5:07PM


I think I'm meaner than you are emoticon

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HOBOCHICK1 1/2/2013 5:06PM

    Thank you !! Most enjoyable blog !!! You are a VERY talented writer !!

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_MOBII_ 1/2/2013 5:04PM

    Great blog, I am not sure how many offers you will get for him though!

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Bethel Ridge/Liberty Township Hike

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I could do it. I did it once yesterday, braving the frosty air and silver white skies to hike the trail that snakes through my woods. But today brought more beauty that took my breath away. The sky, after the storm moved through, brought some of the bluest skies I have seen in awhile and one of the prettiest sunsets that winter time could offer. I set off on my trail only to end up a few roads over in Bethel Ridge. The air, brisk, chilled the tip of my nose. I hoped I wasn't pushing my luck by leaving the warmth of the fireplace once again, but somehow, I lost track of my thoughts...and time.

Out my back door...

Passing a dilapidated shack on my right...

The old Landrum Cemetery...there haven't been Landrums around here for years and I wondered who takes care of the property.

I notice the sun starting to set...

Time to head back home. I secretly hoped all the holiday goodies wouldn't put me passed the bridge weight limit...

What a beautiful sky...

Nearing home...

I decide to take a detour through my woods. During warmer days I sit on this make-shift bench to think and to reflect. Not today. My tush would freeze.

My pond. Partially frozen. And heart is warm.

I am actually fulfilled. I don't know how many times I longed to move from this place. To be a part of "the city." To escape winters such as these. Now, I don't know why I would EVER feel that way. God has put me where He needs me to be. Where He knows my heart is complete. I've never thought of myself as a country girl. I've often thought I was "misplaced." But is there anywhere else I want to be? Today?


This place suits me just fine, thank you.

God bless you and keep you where ever YOU may be tonight.

You are loved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKONSKATES 1/20/2013 8:16PM

    Really nice pictures. I love winter. I live in CT and can relate. I've also hiked the whole AT trail with my parents when I was younger. I can really appreciate that fact knowing another spark person here is out there enjoying gods gifts that's right out there under our noses. Enjoy !! Happy Hiking this year.

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 1/14/2013 3:09AM

  Love the pics and your connection to God's beauty in His paint brush. They also remind me of home in Wisconsin where I saw winter's beauty such as this. Beautiful!

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SHARON10002 1/4/2013 11:51PM

    So very glad that your heart found joy and contentment during the holidays.
Good to know that you'll be starting the year with balanced, mind, body, and spirit. Once again, loved the pictures. I can never get enough snow!!!!

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SNOWSNAKE 1/2/2013 9:52PM

    Very Awesome tour, Im not sure where you live, but I've never seen anywhere quite so serene, so beautifully peaceful...of course you give the pictures a life with your words....warmth, care, feelings above and beyond the simple snow that lies covering the stories you tell. Thank you, I am so glad I took a moment to read your blogs. You make a difference, and I needed that today! Love, ***SNOW*** emoticon

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KIMCOLLINGS 1/2/2013 5:46PM

    So beautiful. It's so nice to appreciate the beauty around us.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/1/2013 8:34AM

    Great blog as usual!!

Thanks for being a great Spark Friend and Inspiration in 2012.

Looking forward to see what 2013 brings us!!

..*) ♥.*)
(. .♥ (. .♥ (.*`* ♥☆.*`*♥☆
`*♥☆ Spread the Spark!!!

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JADOMB 12/31/2012 12:05PM

    Enjoy the beauties God has bestowed upon us. But wear warm socks. LOL

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BRADMILL2922 12/31/2012 1:41AM

    I love hearing how happy these two walks the last two days have made you! It is amazing how something like taking in some nature and enjoying just the simple things around us can make us feel. It may be cold outside but I know exactly the warmth you felt in your heart.

Again, like yesterday, thank you for taking such wonderful pictures and sharing them with all of us! If I wasn't mistaken, I could take you as a professional photographer ;) They really are fantastic shots and really give us a good idea of what you see on your hike. We may not get to breath in the same clean, crisp air that you got to but we get just a glimpse of the beauty you were fortunate enough to absorb!

I don't blame you one bit for not wanting to be anywhere else but there! If your heart is happy, then that is where you need to be! Oh, and don't mind those pesky weight limit road signs, they are just estimates anyways ;) Love you!


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WALLAHALLA 12/31/2012 12:10AM

    Beautiful! I SO miss living in the country. Can't be selfish though. Right now we live where hubby's job dictated. But I have dreams of one day returning to the peace and quiet and beauty of country living.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/31/2012 12:06AM

    lovely pictures and beautiful words to match!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/30/2012 10:41PM

    Beautiful hiking pictures. It's wonderful that you feel you are where you should be!

Happy New Year!

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USFBULL 12/30/2012 10:37PM

    emoticon two in a row, emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 12/30/2012 10:29PM

    I'm happy that you're happy.

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DOVESEYES 12/30/2012 10:27PM

    Beautiful place you live in lovely.

Glad you made it over the bridge emoticon

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JEWELLE217 12/30/2012 9:18PM

    Loved your pictures and your sentiment!

Happy New Year and God bless to you as well!

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AJDOVER1 12/30/2012 8:47PM

    what beautiful pictures. This place isn't as photogenic, but I'm right where I belong.

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FREDSEVOLUTION 12/30/2012 8:33PM

    Wow! That looks like you are on vacation. I would not move from there either. Great pics

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I Hiked, I Saw, I Conquered

Saturday, December 29, 2012

When I got up this morning I looked out my bedroom window and buried my face in my hands. I had promised myself that today I was going to stop being such a wuss and brave the cold for a brisk hike on my trail. (The treadmill was not cutting it. I dearly missed the solitude and peace that I always felt outdoors, that "no-feeling-like-it" feeling as I merged with nature.) I pulled my robe tighter around my waist and headed for the kitchen to make a warm cup of tea. The house was quiet, except for the hum of the refrigerator and the gentle breaths of Brian and Bre as they still floated on the wings of their dreams. Looking out the window, however, I felt the gentle tugging of my spirit.

Yes. I had to go. Bundling up in three layers of clothes, I found myself going deep into the woods, my boots walking alongside the prints left behind by a deer who was foraging for food and warmth. I was hoping to find him, not taking my eyes from the trail, but then I looked up. Such beauty. Raw and untouched.

No, I am not a "cold-weather" girl, preferring to dig my toes into the white sands of a beach, feeling the sun warming my face and legs. But today...

Today I decided not to define myself as that girl.

Today I saw a different stroke of God's paintbrush. It was gorgeous. It was peaceful. It was what my soul dearly needed...

We so often define ourselves as something we are or are not. By doing so, what are we missing? By not being willing to branch out and explore new things? What are we not learning about ourselves by limiting our experiences? No. I do not like the cold. I don't like spinach either but I eat it because it is good for me. And this was good for me.

As 2012 draws to a close, rethink your "ideas" about yourself. Burst into 2013 headstrong, willing to open yourself up to new thoughts, ideas and experiences. You will grow from it. I promise.

God bless you all abundantly. You are loved and I will see you next year. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4ME 1/20/2013 8:25PM

    LOL I am back cos read the blog about husband and he said noone would want to see them. WELL I DID and am glad I DID cos Dear BRIAN they are very beautiful pics and really well done. SO THERE LOL

now to go read the blog LOL

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 1/14/2013 3:05AM

  I find it ironic that your challenge to us is to find a new truth for ourselves in 2013 and My One Word for 2013 just happens to be ... TRUTH! I am seeking God's truth including HIS truth for and about me this year.

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SHARON10002 1/4/2013 11:47PM

    I love sitting by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate, curled up with a soft luxurious blanket, and just watching the snow come down outside. But on the flip side, I am a snow girl - I LOVE SNOW, and the cold weather! Grew up not far from the Canadian border and most of our winters were cold and snowy. My dad even built me my own skating rink in the front yard! Many days were spent on a snowy hills for hours sledding down, and trudging back up. Can you imagine the calories that were burned?! Your pictures reminded me of those days in the country. . . beautiful and serene. I especially loved the barn and the bush with the berries on it. Thanks for sharing such a lovely moment in your life.
I got to share my first snowfall of the season, which was my granddaughter's first snowfall of her life. I've posted some snapshots of us in my photo gallery on my page. Hope you'll stop by!

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SNOWSNAKE 1/2/2013 9:45PM

    Are you kidding?? Us Outdoor people all love SNOW dont we? Im talking about the white cold stuff on the ground and falling from the sky....Its such a miracle to see, and's gone! That's why the photos are so special!! ***SNOW*** emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 1/2/2013 9:26PM

    Lovely photos! Thanks for sharing.

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KIMCOLLINGS 1/2/2013 5:50PM

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful message, and what a beautiful gal you are! Love your blogs!!

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BRADMILL2922 12/31/2012 1:32AM

    Ok, I have to say that I love this blog! Now that we have the obvious out of the way...

You got some really great shots along your trail! I'm glad you got out of the house and were able to reconnect with nature. I am also really glad that you got some great pictures and were willing to share them with everyone!

I actually don't mind the cold and that looks like a fun hike! I wish I had somewhere like that around here that I could go! Good for you for not defining who you are by your do's and dont's! Hey, sometimes we need to expand our horizons a bit and see where we can fly. You did that. You could have just packed it in and said, "no, not today" but you didn't! You got out of the house and were able to give yourself something. You got to enjoy God's paintbrush and then shared it with us!

Beautiful pictures of beautiful scenery taken by a beautiful person! Love You!


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KING_SLAYER 12/30/2012 6:45PM

    What a lovely blog and so right on point. We do define ourselves by our "do's" and our "don'ts". What you said here makes perfect sense, to open ourselves up to new possibilities, to say "yes" more often.

I do need to say however that the scenery looks beautiful, but Good Lord, I don't think I would last long in that cold!!

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a magnificent 2013 my dear :)

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JADOMB 12/30/2012 12:30PM

    Awesome blog and pics. If I had that kind of outdoor beauty to behold, I too would stuggle with the treadmill. Sadly, my immediate view is sidewalks, pavement, houses, stray dogs and stray people. So I will remain content with my treadmill and FOX news. LOL May next year be a very blessed one for you and yours.

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EPIPHANYANGEL 12/30/2012 12:10PM

    thanks for sharing - such beautiful pictures emoticon

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WOODHEAT 12/30/2012 8:23AM

    Well said! A treadmill doesn't compare with the real thing and it looks like you have an absolutely perfect place to walk! Continue to "get out" and enjoy it!

Life is good!

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HIKINGFIT 12/30/2012 7:37AM

    thank you for sharing your hike and your words.

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ANDYLIN90 12/30/2012 2:55AM

    Ahhhh, the pictures are wonderful and how I miss a winter walk in such pristine beauty. I rarely see snow as your pictures dicpict as I now live in Scottsdale, AZ. This week I will be hiking in bright sun with temps in the 60's to low 70's.

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ARUNNINGKAT 12/30/2012 1:39AM

    Love your photos! I love a good walk in the fresh snow! There is just something so peaceful about it.

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USFBULL 12/29/2012 11:40PM

    Nice photo's and nicely done, way to get off the assets and go for a beautiful walk. Wow I had to get some hot coffee before I finished your blog. emoticon Isn't it amazing how much effort is required but once you get going its something your glad you didn't miss. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 12/29/2012 10:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 12/29/2012 10:11PM

    I am not a cold weather girl either, but there is something about walking in a winter wonderland that just makes me happy. Gorgeous walk! You have a lot more snow than we do.

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JACKIE542 12/29/2012 9:51PM

    Glad you went out for your hike, thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. emoticon

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AJDOVER1 12/29/2012 9:42PM

    brrr and breathtaking! Thank you so much for this!

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DOVESEYES 12/29/2012 9:42PM

    What a great blog I love trees in winter but my fave has to be the post with the layer of snow.

I agree about how we define ourselves and if we (dare) to look deeper it can be what others have 'put' on us that limits us.

I'm with you break out in 2013.

thanks so much emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATRINAKAT23 12/29/2012 8:34PM

  Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures.
Wishing you and yours all the best in the New Year.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALLAHALLA 12/29/2012 8:24PM

    God does paint a beautiful picture. Wish He would paint one like that here, soon. Meanwhile, I feel blessed that you had your camera and shared your pics!

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K1TT3N 12/29/2012 8:12PM

    Awesome blog ... Thanks for sharing the pics.. the are beautiful..keep up the great work

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