Friday, November 30, 2012

Here We Go...... December!!!

Tomorrow brings us to the final month of 2012, and the beginning of the Christmas season once again around here.  It seems crazy to think that in the blink of just four weeks, we will be starting a brand new year once again!  I have no doubt at all that December is going to come and go faster than any other month this entire year for us...... as I have the calendar of events right here in front of me.

Tomorrow, the first day of December, and also a Saturday..... starts us off busy!  Evan has his very first basketball game of the season, in Ferndale at 11am.  After his game, Evan will be going to a birthday party and sleepover for his friend, Halston.  They will head to the movie theater at 3pm, then back to Halston's place for the night.  This will be our first year without having Evan with us as we head off to the annual Lynden lighted Christmas parade tomorrow evening..... bittersweet for sure!  We love that or boy is growing up, and has fun things to go do with good friends, and yet, a little piece of our hearts break at losing a little piece of tradition that we have had since he was a tiny little guy!!!

On Sunday, we will attend our regular church service.  We will also be making arrangements to get Evan back home with us again, so we can head back to CTK Bellingham in the evening, for the CTK Christmas CD release concert, at 7pm.  A great way to kick off our December, and get into the Christmas season spirit....... a Christmas parade, followed by a Christmas concert!!!

Our first week in December will find me working three full days at Westside Pizza, and two full 24 hour shifts at the BFD.....and so, I will not be around at all until the next Saturday once again.  :-(

While I am gone all week, Tracie will be tasked with basketball practices for both kids, Evan's first Pep Band gig at a basketball game, early release and late arrival one day for school, volunteering in Sierra's class at school (in addition to her normal work schedule at the school), getting Evan to his drum lesson on Thursday, and then heading out for her girls night out on Thursday night, whenever I finally get home from Westside Pizza.

On Saturday the 8th, Evan has another basketball game, smack in the middle of the afternoon, at 2:30pm.  We have a party to attend that day as well, which starts at noon.  That day also appears to really be the only good day for us to go as a family to get our Christmas tree, unless we want to wait another week, and only have the tree up for half of the month this year!

On Sunday the 9th, Uncle Brad and I take Evan and his good friend Adam down to Seattle, via the Amtrak train, to watch the Seattle Seahawks play against the Arizona Cardinals!!!  This should be a really great, fun and long day for us all.  :-)

On Monday the 10th, Evan has his very first band concert for school, at 7pm.  We are very excited to see how much he has learned, since he really seems to enjoy music, and band class, as well as  his private drum lessons!

I will only work two full days at Westside Pizza that week, along with only one 24 hour shift at the BFD..... so that I can attend the band concert on Monday, as well as Sierra's school Christmas Program on Thursday afternoon!!!  Evan will again have another Pep Band gig that week, for another basketball game.  I will have the first of my two visits to the medical clinic, to get my annual BFD physical taken care of.

Then, it will be Saturday the 15th, just that fast!  If all goes as planned, I am hoping to take the family down to take in the Warm Beach Lights of Christmas.  Of course, Evan has a basketball game at 3pm, and, depending on the previous Saturday, we may or may not be needing to go and get our Christmas tree!!!  Oy Vay......

The week of the 17th through the 21st, Evan has yet another Pep Band gig, another drum lesson, more basketball practice.  Sierra also has more basketball practice, and I go back to working three full days at Westside Pizza again, along with two full 24 hour shifts at the BFD again.  So, for me, it will be Sunday the 16th.....and then, Saturday the 22nd, just like that!!!

Grammy and Papa and aunt Janice will arrive at our place on Sunday, the 23rd.  They will be here to celebrate Christmas with us this year, the very first time in nearly 22 years that we have lived up here!!!  Amazing...... the kids are so happy and excited.  they have been waiting for Grammy and Papa to be with us on Christmas for years now!!!

I will not work at Westside Pizza from the 22nd on through the end of the month...... only the BFD on the 28th.  Time to be with my family for a while, and enjoy the season of Christmas.....even if for only a matter of days for me this year.

As soon as Grammy and Papa and aunt Janice leave us, Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Larry will arrive, to ring in the New Year with us this year.

And so, there it comes and goes...... the Month of December!!!  It will be a whirlwind, and my head is already spinning.  I am sad to know how much I am going to miss, but hopeful that someone will get photos and video of Evan at his Pep Band gigs for me to see.  I will at least be there for both kids' Christmas Programs, and to see their basketball games..... that makes me very happy.

WHEW...... there is the rundown..... if you don't see from me or hear from me this month... I apologize.  Nothing personal.  In fact, if you like, you can come to Westside for a pizza, or call in and ask for me to deliver to you!!!  :-)

Seasons greetings.... Happy Holidays.... and most importantly,  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!!

We all have so very much to be thankful for.  I pray that every one of us will remember to give thanks and praise to Jesus Christ, for He is the very reason that we have anything at all to be thankful for!!!

With all of the things that I can, and often do, let bother me and get me down..... I choose to put them all away this weekend, and focus only on the goodness and greatness of our God.  I choose to give thanks for all of the blessings that are provided to me and my family each and every day.

I also choose to remember the millions of people around the world who have nothing in comparison to what I have.  I choose to cry out to God on their behalf.

Give thanks and praise.  Be thankful.  Live, laugh and love.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Case of the Blues Month.....

No, I am not writing today to seek sympathy or pity.  I write this today simply for me.  Something to hopefully one day look back when things are much better.  Something to be able to reflect on in different times than now.  This post is for me, and to just put my feelings out there..... not on FB or other social media, where I have managed to outcast myself by being "too open", "too honest", and "sharing too much".

This is my personal blog, which I keep as my own personal journal of sorts..... just not on a daily basis.  So please, if you are reading this post today, do not feel sorry for me, or think that I am asking for you to feel sorry for me.  Please do not think that I am looking for anything from anyone.  I am asking God for those things already!!!

With that all said...... here is what I am feeling today:

As the title says, this is a month of the blues for me.  I have been feeling blue, down, out of sorts, out of health, out of my comfort zone, out of life the way I have known it for some time now.  I have not been in great spirits, or very positive attitude this past month.  My world has changed, rather dramatically..... a whole new paradigm for me, and not one I was really looking forward to, or excited about.  This whole new way of life for me has come because of me, so I can't blame anyone else but myself.  And yet, I am disgruntled because of the situation that I am now in.  I am frustrated at my situation, and disappointed in myself, for ever having let things come to this point in my life.

Because of this new paradigm shift, and new life schedule that I have taken on over the past month, a lot of things have changed for me, and not all in a very good way.  My physical health has taken a beating.  I have not been able to figure out how to fit my fitness into this new routine as of yet.  And that really bothers me.  I feel fat, out of shape, and generally unhealthy right now..... and I do not like that at all.  My bike has sat in the garage, unridden now for a full month!  This really has me down, since this is not only my hobby, but my health.... both physically and mentally.  I was so very close to reaching and/or surpassing my goal of 3,500 miles for the year, and now I don't know if I can or will even reach the goal.  And as I have come to learn quite some time ago, when my physical health health isn't doing well, my mental health takes a beating as well.

To add insult to injury, this new schedule, which includes working from 11am until typically 6-7 or 7:30pm most of my days off from the BFD, keeps me away from my family more than I have ever been before.  My only real time with Evan and Sierra now gets to be right as they are winding down for the evenings, getting ready to go to bed.  Or, in the mornings, when they are getting started, and heading off to school.  The only exception to that being that I have so far kept my Saturday's and Sundays open, if I am not scheduled to work at the BFD.  So, at least I get one, sometimes two days a week to bee home with them.

I know that this may seem to be a normal thing for most people.  But for me, it is not.  I chose a wonderful career as a firefighter, which provides a  great shift work schedule, which allows more time at home with family than the typical 9-5 work schedule tends to.  I have never worked a 9-5 job in the past 21 years, and have had the luxury of being able to be active and present in my kids' lives a great deal..... right up until just over a month ago now.  And I will not lie, this has been extremely difficult for me to handle.  I do not like it one bit.  And my heart has been broken a bit in not being around my kids as much as I am used to being.  Yesterday really brought that to the front for me...... both kids didn't have school yesterday, and don't have school again today either.  I realized that as I was preparing to head out to work all day at Westside Pizza.  And again, today, I will be working all day at Westide Pizza.  Of course, I will have tomorrow off from both jobs, and the kids will be back in school.

So, yes, I am having a bit of a pity party here.  But no, I am not looking for pity from anyone else here.  This is just a place for me to express myself, for me, and me only.  This is a means for me to vent my frustrations, concerns, worries, angers, hurts, etc.  And I truly hope that one day, much sooner than later, I will be able to come back and read this from a much better place than I am in right now.

I know in my heart and my soul that I still have so very much to be thankful for.  I really do.  And with Thanksgiving coming up next week, I will choose to reflect on those things, and plan to give thanks and praise to God for all of the good and wonderful things that He has done for me, given to me, and continues to give and do for me, and for my family and loved ones.  I will choose to put others before myself, and realize that I have been down before, and God helped me get back up and get going again.  I am certain that I will find my way out of this situation in time, somehow, some way.

For now, I just needed to put down how I am feeling, where I am at, what I am thinking.  For me.  No, it doesn't take care of everything.  In fact, it hasn't really changed anything.  I still have to go to work today, for minimum wage, at a pizza joint, on my day off from work, while my kids are at home with no school.  But, it makes me feel better just a little bit, being able to off-load my feelings in some way, other than expressing it through anger and frustration, at those who don't deserve it.  I am not pleased one bit about having to take on a second job, and yet, I will praise God that he has allowed me the opportunity to have this job, in a time when there are so many people struggling to just find work.  I don't enjoy being the oldest employee at my second job, by 14 years over the owner (and my boss), and old enough to be most of the other employees' dad...... but I will thank God for the opportunity to represent Jesus, and to hopefully be an example to others as I work with them.

Has this been the best month or so of my life....... not even close!  And yet, has this been the worst month or so of my life.... NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!  This is what I need to remember.  This is what I need to hang on to.  I, at one time, was in a much deeper and darker place in my life than I am even remotely close to being right now.  And back then, I didn't have Jesus.  I was doing life on my own.... and it wasn't working very well.  Now, I have Jesus on my side, and a family worth everything to me.......... and that makes a huge difference!  With Christ, all things are possible...... so, I know that according to His planning and timing, I will manage to get through this. 

For now, I need to work at keeping my chin up and shoulders back.  I need to sit down and figure out how to plan out my days better, knowing that my old schedule just isn't working anymore.  I need to figure out how to incorporate the vitally important aspect of fitness back into my life, so I can re-energize once again, and allow the endorphins to run through my blood and bring back the energy and happiness and satisfaction that comes with regular exercise.  I need to plan it out, and then commit to it, and get started once again.

And, I need to pray, pray, pray...... and pray some more.  I know God wants to hear from me.  And I do pray..... but mostly only for everyone else, and not for myself.  I need to start praying for me as well..... for I am also important, and I also matter.

OK..... enough of the blues.  Enough of the pity party.  Enough of the dwelling on the things I am not happy about but can't change.  Time to work on changing what I can change, and time to start praying earnestly for God to bring change to those other things.  Time to start a new day.