Getting Brave

It’s a new year, and I’m trying to continue the trend that I started last year of stepping out of my comfort zone (read: rut) and do things that scare me.

I scare easily.

Last year it was going to a Hello Mornings meetup. In person. And while I was nervous, that led to me meeting some ladies who have turned into good friends. Real-life friends.

It also led me to my bookclub, which has been so awesome.

Last year it was also attending (in)RL – another in-person meetup. Maybe not quite as nerve-wracking, because two of new friends from that Hello Mornings meetup were there as well.

And (in)RL? Led to another friendship that has been supportive and encouraging. It also led to me attending Influence last fall, which led to …

Well, you get the idea. Small steps of bravery (that might not seem so brave) led to bigger things.

And yesterday I took another small step, that might or might not lead to other things, but at the very least it kept me from giving in to fear, and that alone makes it a big step.

Seven Quick Takes: Brother Edition

— 1 —

Nothing like a surprise blogging hiatus. I wish I could say it was for some happy reason, but it’s not. My last post in November was right before we went on a 2 1/2 week vacation, and I hadn’t managed to get posts written ahead and scheduled. A little over a week after we got home from our trip (or, in other words, right about the time I was finally caught up on laundry and our routines were semi-functional again), I learned that my brother lost his fight with leukemia. He didn’t even make it six months from his diagnosis. I couldn’t even begin to write anything over here I was so devastated. Still am, but I’m at least functioning and am figuring out how to get back to what normal is now.

D&S 2 Watermarked
One of my favorite pictures of my brother & I, because of the happy memories it brings to mind. I was still in college here, so it’s from a long time ago.

— 2 —

I am so incredibly thankful that during our trip I was able to see him. It ended up being just over two weeks before his death – I saw him on a Sunday, and he died on a Tuesday 16 days later. For all that I’m so grateful that I saw him, I still can’t really think about that day that I spent with him. Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to remember it without breaking down into tears.

— 3 —

My brother’s funeral was held in his home state of Colorado. Unfortunately for me, a poorly timed blizzard closed the interstate and kept me from making it to the funeral, reception, or burial. We had to stop just west of Hays, KS, and ended up turning back the next day when the roads proved to be so bad. My sister-in-law’s cousin’s husband (i.e., I have no idea what to call him beyond “a relative”) was so sad to hear that I wasn’t going to make the funeral that he recorded it for me. I haven’t gotten the video yet, and don’t know when I’ll be emotionally ready to watch it. If ever.

— 4 —

None of it seems completely real yet. Would that be different if I had attended his funeral? Maybe. Maybe it still wouldn’t, because I still expect that I could call him up any time and get an enthusiastic greeting. I still expect to hear second-hand stories of his latest adventures from my parents.


One of the last photos I have with my brother, from two years ago. I wish I had other, more recent photos because I really hated almost all of the photos from that session. Some of the worst family pictures we could have possibly come up with, and now they end up being the only ones we’ll have with everyone. Although, I guess we’ll never have pictures with everyone in that I was pregnant with my daughter when this photo was taken. So there’s at least one more family member who didn’t make it into the group shot.

— 5 —

It may sound crazy, but I am kind of dreading my birthday this year. I always, ALWAYS got a call from him on my birthday. Last year I missed his call thanks to dealing with the kids, and I still have the voicemail he left me. It was only a few weeks later that he got his diagnosis, so that call/voicemail was the last time I heard from him when we still all thought everything was “normal.”

— 6 —

I really thought I might make it through this post without crying. Not so much. Other things I’m dreading: the anniversary of his diagnosis. His anniversary & his wife’s birthday (which are on the same day). His kid’s birthdays. His birthday. The anniversary of my last visit with him. The anniversary of his death. I guess we’ve at least made it through the first round of firsts – first day, first week, first Christmas, first New Years. And today is the first month anniversary.

— 7 —

I just miss my brother. I know he’s in a better place, and I’ll see him again someday. I don’t know how I would cope if I didn’t have that to hold on to. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m grieving that he’s gone, and that we didn’t get the miracle for which we prayed.

D&G Watermarked
My brother and my son. He never met my daughter sadly. The day I went to see him right before he died she was getting over a cold and we couldn’t risk her sharing any germs with him as his immune system was nonexistant.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Mini-Blogging Break

I should have posted this sooner, but I wasn’t expecting to be taking this mini-blogging break.

Influence conference + a killer cold for me & the kids has gotten me behind on everything else in life. My email inbox is absurd, and beginning to really stress me out. October is generally a busy month for me with appointments for various reasons, and I have already missed one and keep forgetting to schedule my girl’s follow-up at her doctor’s.

So, I’ll be back asap. Hopefully completely healthy and with kids who have remembered what it’s like to sleep all night. In their own beds.

Daybook: September 2012

Simple Woman's DaybookOutside my window
The recent rain has rejuevenated the grass; it’s back to a lush green after being brown and crispy from the drought.

I am thinking
About my new scripture memory project of 1 Peter 1

I am wondering
How much longer I’ll have peace and quiet until one or both kiddos comes to find me. They’ve been playing outside with daddy for the last hour.

I am thankful for
Daddy keeping the kiddos outside for the last hour. :)

I am resolving…
To get up earlier than my kids. And for that I need to resolve to get myself in bed shortly after they go to bed, instead of wasting time in the late evening.

I am memorizing…
1 Peter 1

I am gathering…
Ideas for the new blog. It launches tomorrow!

I am hoping…
That Mr. SJ has an easy week of on-call next week. When he’s got a rough week it definitely trickles down to the rest of us, because he can’t give me any break, and the kiddos miss him.

I am reading…
The Truth about the Lordship of Christ by John MacArthur. Among others.

I am pondering these words…
“in the sanctification of the Spirit” (from 1 Peter 1:2). I don’t tend to think of the Spirit as sanctifying, so it’s got me thinking…

I am creating…
A new blog, as I already mentioned. I’m excited about it!

I am going…
Nowhere at all today (yay!) To bookclub on Thursday (yay!) To the library this weekend (yay!) To Influence next month (yay!) To travel out west this fall (yay!)

I am looking forward…
To Awana tomorrow. Hoping that the boy does a better job, and I can leave him and not linger around the hallway most of the time. I’d like to listen to the church service that will be going on in the other part of the building!

I am studying…
1 Peter

I am appreciating…
The cooler temps we’ve had. Seventies or low eighties? How fabulous.

I am hearing…
My family downstairs. Sounds like the boy is getting in trouble for being mean to his sister. And now I hear her coming upstairs, probably to try and get away from her big brother.

I am realizing…
My break is over.

I am praying…
For good sleep for us all tonight, and for my brother’s health.

A plan for the week…
Try and get the house picked up. It’s still suffering from the chaos it devolved into when the kids were sick. And I lost any enthusiasm I ever had towards dealing with it.

A picture to share…

August Daybook

It’s an old one, from a family wedding we attended in July. But I love how cute H looks in her dress, peering out the front door.

* * *

What are you doing today?

the simple woman’s daybook …where every day is a blank page

I’m Going To Influence. Are You?

The Influence Conference is next month and I am super excited.

As a get-ready-for-the-conference post, Hayley and the other community leaders are having a link-up to get to know the conference attendees. I love this idea, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s link-up posts!

3 get-to-know-me things

  • I’m actually starting a new book-focused blog, and debated whether or not I should post this on this blog or the new one. Since that one hasn’t officially launched, I settled on this one with a link to the new one.
  • I’m an extreme introvert. So much so that as much as I’m excited about the conference, I’m a wee bit nervous about how my INTJ personality will handle SO MANY PEOPLE. And will I have the nerve to walk up to people and introduce myself? If you spot me hyperventilating in the corner, it’s not you. It’s me. And on a related note, I’m really really nervous about the stripes party. I still don’t own anything to wear, and I’m stressing over it. And, it’s a party. The first night, before I’ve had a chance to get used to the place.
  • I’m also nervous about leaving my baby for the first time, and how my husband will do will both kiddos all. day. long. I say “baby,” but she’s 14 months (will be 15 1/2 by conference time), so it’s not that she has to have me like she did as an infant. But she’s used to having me nearby, and my husband is not used to having to handle both kids.

2 things I’m looking forward to about the conference:

  • Meeting internet friends and {hopefully} turning them into in-real-life friends.
  • The meet-ups and workshops and sessions. I’m excited to see the actual schedule so I can start planning which ones I’ll attend. That’s going to be the hard thing – they all sound great, so picking and choosing will be tough.

1 thing I can’t leave home without:

  • Something to read. A physical book, or my kindle, or a book on my iPod’s kindle app, I’ve got to have something to read. What if I get stranded and have lots of uninterrupted time?

And for more info on me, check out my about page, or follow me on twitter.

When Is It OK to Quit?

Finish Line

I’m a quitter. A non-finisher of projects. A dreamer and a planner but not always a do-er.

And I hate that about myself.

I debate with myself at times: is something worth finishing just to say I’ve finished it? Or is it better to acknowledge the sunk cost and move on to the next project or idea. I’m still not sure I always make the right call on that.

Surely I can’t be the only one who struggles sometimes to know when it’s wisest to acknowledge that situations change and perhaps a new course of action is in order. How do you decide when it’s something worth sticking it out to finish, and when it’s time to intentionally not finish?

And maybe I need to just accept that this is who I am, and when I’m done with something (whether or not it’s what I expected to be the finish line when I first started), I’m done and ready to move on to the next project/accomplishment/adventure.

Photo by jayneandd

Hello Mornings

Hello Mornings logo

Yesterday was the start of another Hello Mornings challenge. Once again I’m in a Twitter group and a fun thing about it is that there are a lot of the group members who are from the same general area as me.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how much effort I’m putting into waking up before my kiddos this week. We’re on week two of sickness and I’m desperate for every bit of sleep I can get. I’m already going to bed as early as possible (i.e., right after I get the baby down for the night), the only place to try and get more sleep time is in the morning.

Assuming baby girl follows the pattern her brother set with this nasty virus, we’ve got 4 more days of it to survive.

So, I’m doing the daily check-in on Twitter, once I can get to my iPod and send a tweet. Once everyone has stopped puking and having other grossness I’ll work on moving my bedtime back up so that I’ve got morning time to spend praying and studying. And maybe this session I’ll even add in some exercise and planning time too. :)

Are you participating in Hello Mornings? How’s your first days of it going ~ hopefully better than here!