I Met You at the Wedding Last Week…

Anne at the Modern Mrs. Darcy is having another carnival, this one on “Perspectives on Life and Love.

I already wrote a post (also inspired by Anne) about how I’m not living the story I expected. It picks up when I get married at 29, and then struggle with infertility so I don’t have my first baby until I’m 36.

But why didn’t I get married until I was 29? I knew I wanted to be out of college before I married, but there’s a whole lot of years between college graduation at 22 and marriage at 29 1/2.

When I graduated from college in May I moved to Dallas, the nearest big city. One of my former college roommates was living there and needed a new roommate, so it worked out well for me to move in. She was engaged and would be marrying that December – plenty of time for me to find a job and get some money saved up and either find another roommate or a cheap apartment I could carry on my own.

While my roommate was one of my best friends, I was less than impressed with her fiance. Ok, fine, I didn’t like him. At all. So when he kept telling me about this friend of his that I had to meet because he was so perfect for me, well, excuse me if I was not that interested. Friends with you? Nothankyou.

I was in the wedding party, one of several bridesmaids. Because of my new job I had to cut it close getting to the bride’s hometown for the wedding weekend, and I ended up missing the rehearsal, pulling into the church parking lot just as everyone else was loading up to drive to the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. The bride hopped into my car to direct me as I apologized. Bad traffic and bad directions had gotten me way behind schedule.

We walked into the restaurant together, and she took me around to introduce me to everyone. I saw this guy standing in line to get some food and felt my stomach flip – who was he, and was he single?

Oh. He’s a friend of the groom. From Arizona no less, so not likely that I’ll ever see him again.

As the bride walks away with me she whispers “he’s the one we’ve been telling you you’ve got to meet – he is perfect for you!”

Guess he’s single then at least. My stomach flips again.

I don’t speak with him that night, beyond that introductory hello.

At the wedding, he’s not paired up with me, instead I’m matched with a shorter guy who I can’t pay attention to as I gaze at the dark-haired man in front of him. I am such a sucker for dark hair.

During the reception I speak with him briefly to talk some trash about his sports team. His college is the current number three in basketball and in their enthusiasm he and the groom keep sneaking away to watch the big game being televised at the bar.

One of the other bridesmaids flirts with him outrageously, and they make plans to meet the next day to tour the city. Everyone is invited, all the wedding party who don’t have plans.

I’m a passenger the next day, and am not fully paying attention to what’s going on, alternating between wishing to meet up with him, and not wanting to see the other bridesmaid flirt with him again. For some reason, we don’t make the meet-up spot on time, and in this age before universal cell-phones there is no way to reconnect or modify the meeting spot or time.

At least I don’t have to see her flirt with him again. She was awfully touchy.

He calls the hotel that night, talking first with her and I hear her offer her phone number. Then she turns to me, handing me the phone – he’s asked for me. We speak briefly, trivially, and then I say goodbye, never expecting to hear from him again. I specifically don’t give him my number.

It’s a long drive back to Dallas and my empty apartment. Back to my crazy work schedule and no time to meet anyone.

A few days later I get home from work with no plans for my evening when my phone unexpectedly rings. I debate with myself if I should answer it or not. Eh, why not.

“Hi, Sheila? I met you at the wedding last week?”

How on earth? The bride and groom aren’t even back from their honeymoon, he can’t have gotten my number from them.

He’s not yet back to Arizona, instead he took the chance to travel further East first and visit his extended family. He’s calling from his Aunt’s house in Indiana, about to head home. He wants to stop by Dallas on his way and see me…

Declutter your wardrobe (and focus on your outward appearance)

I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 35, is Declutter Your Wardrobe (and focus on your outward appearance). I’m not entirely sure how to call this one.

I don’t really have anything to declutter from my wardrobe, simply because I’m not completely sure if we’re done having children. I may need those maternity clothes again. I may need my post-partum clothes. I am still using my nursing clothes. Someday I’ll wear my not-pregnant-not-nursing clothes again.

Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous, but I’ve got things divided so at least I’m not staring at clothes that don’t work for me right now; everything that I see when I get dressed is appropriate for this season (both temperature-wise and body-wise.)

And I recently did focus on my outward appearance enough to buy a few new items! I got some new shirts, jeans, and shorts. I love two of the new shirts so much I’m tempted to go back and see if there are any other colors that work for me. And I love having jeans and shorts that fit, instead of ones that are always falling off of me.

I do want to get a new pair of sandals, because I have had to retire my black pair.

I’m also just starting to contemplate getting a new hair style. I’ve had my current “style” for about a decade, and maybe I should do something different with it. I use style in quotes because I’m really bad about going for 6 months between haircuts and I hate doing anything with my hair whatsoever, so I don’t actually have much in the way of a hairstyle.

Do you need to declutter your wardrobe, or do something else to focus on your appearance?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Drink More Water

I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 34, Drink More Water, is a challenge that, before kids, I would easily say I’ve got it covered. I drank enough water that if anything I needed to watch and make sure I didn’t drink too much (yes, it’s possible!).

I don’t drink quite so much nowadays, but I still manage to gulp down the recommended amounts, by filling up my HUGE glass at regular intervals. I know that I want to finish the first one by mid-morning, another one by lunch time, another one by afternoon nap, etc. The main time I may get off track is when we’re out of the house or something else is keeping me from hitting my “fill up your glass” cues.

That’s my biggest tip for drinking more water: figure out something else that will be an external cue for you to get a drink. Meal times are an obvious one, but anything that happens regularly can work as a cue (naptime and snack time are ones my kids won’t let me forget).

How do you do at drinking water? Do you have any tips on how to make sure you drink enough?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

The Post I Never Thought I’d Write

I recently reviewed Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life, a memoir of a man’s final 100 days after being diagnosed with cancer. As I read it I found myself thinking about what it would be like if I were the one given 100 days to live. Or what if it were my husband? As I read the book I imagined how it would be for us to be the central character in the drama if you will. I never imagined how it’d be to be one of the peripheral characters.

S and D

My brother has cancer. Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia most likely. He got that guesstimate/diagnosis at the beginning of the week, but they didn’t even wait to get more precise than that before telling him to get to Houston immediately. He’s flying there today, and goes to the hospital tomorrow morning to get some more testing done as they figure out his exact treatment plan. Things don’t look all that good.

Update: It’s Acute biphenotypic leukemia. He’s got a combination of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL). Now we’re all wishing he had lymphoblastic leukemia instead; it’s “better” if you will. That “acute” in the name means that it’s aggressive, and the AML form is NOT a good one to have.

He’s only 41. He has two children, who turn 11 & 13 in August. His 21st wedding anniversary is next month. He eats healthy and exercises and has always been so much healthier than me.

I’m torn between wanting to read everything I can find on ALL, and wanting to ignore it and just pray, without having to know specifics of what it means and what the odds are.

He’s never even met my daughter, the only niece from his side of the family.

I love my brother so much. We don’t see each other often; we live so far apart and he’s so busy with his work, but whenever we do get together it’s always like we haven’t been apart at all. He is so funny, my mom said he had her laughing as he was describing how he was going to be going bald a little sooner than expected.

Times like this I wish prayer was more active. I want to do something, and praying doesn’t always feel physical enough.

Would you pray for my brother? And his family and my parents too?

Not The Story I Expected

S&G 07_2009

Last week Anne at a Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote a post for her anniversary titled “Not the Story I Expected But I Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything.” And it got me thinking about my story, and how it’s not what I expected, and I still struggle at times with wishing it was different.

I expected that I’d get married not all that long after graduating from college. I figured that I’d meet a guy in college, and be engaged by the time I graduated, or shortly afterwards. We’d be married for a few years and then start a family. I dreamed of having four children. Two boys, two girls, so everyone could experience having a brother and a sister. Perfect, right?

Except, I didn’t meet anyone I wanted to marry in college. And skipping ahead of the entire convoluted mess, I didn’t marry until I was long out of college. I was out of graduate school. I was back in graduate school for another degree. I was almost 30.

That’s ok, right? It’s common nowadays. Still plenty of time for a family. My husband is one of six kids, and he wanted to have six of his own – he loved growing up in a large family. Six scared me, but four still sounded good to me.

Except, it took us a long time to get pregnant. Years long. I felt my biological clock ticking away, and I cried as I saw our dreams of a large family disappearing.

I feel beyond blessed now that I have two children, after fearing that infertility would keep us from having any. And yet, we still want more. Realistically, can I expect another one or two? Realistically, do I have the energy to take care of another one or two, when my first two are so young?

I wish I’d gotten married younger. I wish I’d gotten pregnant earlier. I wish I didn’t feel like I’ve lost the chance to have the family I wanted, and my husband wanted.

I feel that I’m constantly the misfit in a situation – moms who are in the same stage as me with preschoolers and toddlers are 10 – 15 years younger. Moms I know closer to my age are dealing with kids in junior high if not high school. My husband has a former classmate who is a grandmother, and we’re in the trenches of diapers and potty training.

I constantly remind myself that God is sovereign, and he could easily have made it happen for my husband and I to marry earlier, for me to conceive easily. For whatever reason, that wasn’t his plan. So how do I stop wishing that it had been?

Linking up to Write It, Girl.

Write it girl

Playtime, Seven Quick Takes Style

— 1 —

Playtime, this week’s p52 theme, makes me think of children. And children? Well I’ve got two of those and they do love to play, especially outside. We’ve had some really hot and humid weather recently, but that doesn’t stop them, they still want to play in the fresh air.


— 2 —

we have a huge backyard, with some nice shade trees, and a screened in porch that can be a good compromise for a boy who wants to be in the backyard, and a mom who doesn’t want to die of heatstroke. And our backyard has a big playset with swings, and a slide, and thanks to some sweaty work from Mr. SJ, it now includes a small sandbox. Let the sand play begin!

— 3 —

In anticipation of a long, hot summer, we also got a small, inflatable pool. It ended up being a little bigger than I expected (either I didn’t read the measurements on the box, or they didn’t register). If we would ever set it up, I’m sure the kids will love it (hopefully next week)

— 4 —

We also got a sprinkler so the kids can run through it (or, in baby H’s case, toddle through it.)


(Although she did go through, over, and stood on the sprinkler this day, most of the soaking you can see in her dress and hair were directly from the hose, with the sprayer nozzle attached. She was trying to catch the water as daddy was watering plants.)

— 5 —

The wagon continues to be a big hit for backyard amusement. G likes to pile his toys into it and pull it around the yard. He’d like me to put his sister in and let her ride, but I don’t have enough faith in his smooth driving skills to allow that yet.

— 6 —

I wasn’t sure that anything would supplant the swing as baby girl’s favorite thing, but the pool just might. She loves splashing in the bathtub, so I’m sure that she will love the kiddie pool.

— 7 —

One of my favorite things about outside playtime? It almost guarantees tired kids who need an earlier bedtime and sleep soundly all night!


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! And for more photos illustrating “Playtime,” visit Kent Weakley, who is hosting for Darcy at my3boybarians

Switch to Gentle, Eco-Friendly Skin Care

I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 30, Switch to Gentle, Eco-Friendly Skin Care, was one that made me very curious.

And then as I read about the oil-cleanse method I was really surprised. Oil? On my face? The explanations behind the method made sense however, and I figured I’d someday give it a shot.

Someday got moved up to much sooner than expected however when last year my skin suddenly freaked out and the gentle face wash I’d used for years wasn’t working. The skin around my eyes was raw and irritated and sloughing away. Yes, it was just as attractive as it sounds. I tried a number of different cleansers, and even just water. I switched eye creams. Nothing helped.

In desperation I remembered reading this project and decided it certainly couldn’t be any worse than what I was doing. I already had plenty of extra virgin olive oil. I bought some castor oil, and mixed them into a 3:2 ratio. It took a few days, but amazingly enough the skin around my eyes gradually healed.

When I went on vacation this Spring I brought my OCM blend, but a few days I didn’t use it because it was in another bathroom from where I was washing my face. Big mistake – by the end of the vacation the skin around my eyes was once again irritated and starting to flake.

I’ve been using it faithfully every day since. While many articles indicate that some people can use it every other day, or even every third day I am clearly not one of those people.

Now I’m using about a 3:1 ratio of EVOO:castor oil. I have a leftover container from some eye cream that I finished, and I premix the blend into that. I know that I’m not coordinated enough to mix it into my hand each night; it’s much simpler having some premixed.

I still need to use lotion and eye cream (yes, I have super-dry skin), but the oil-cleanse method means I use a lot less. Just the fact that it cleared up the mess that was the skin around my eyes makes me thrilled to have discovered it.

Have you ever tried the oil-cleanse method? Did you like it?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.