Changes, and A Good Cry

The leaves and needles are falling, there’s change all over my backyard.

Nature is transitioning, and the cold is coming.

Nature mimics our lives.

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Change/transition can sometimes bring the cold too:

problems,

heartache,

and pain.

At times, ABSOLUTE TRAUMA.

Life can change out of nowhere, with not even a hint of warning…

loss of a job, a bad report from the doctor, a friend’s unfounded betrayal,

death.

And with it, brings heartache.

Deep, deep sadness.

The deepest pit.

Heartache [only YOU know] because it’s YOURS.

You own it at its deepest level.

bird fighting the snow and cold in Indiana


Yes, people can offer advice, words of comfort, even wisdom…

BUT words feel like a band-aid. You can’t really take them in.

You don’t want any more words.

You dread to see anyone. I mean how do you answer?

You feel you just can’t take anymore.

Finally, your body breaks down in a good cry. A hard cry. A shaking kind of cry.

A cry your body can’t hold in any longer.

And it pleads for a meeting with God.

A quiet, still place where He brings His presence. HIS sweet, wonderful presence.

It’s POWERFUL.

No one’s talking. It’s just still.

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That undeniable presence consumes your space.

You KNOW He’s near.

You.Can.Sense.It 

in every part of your being.

Only GOD can do that.

Only GOD really gets you.

He knows your deepest pain like no other.

Only HE can comfort.

Yes, HE knows you intimately.

He promises to get right in there and feel your sorrow with you.

He’s present…He really is.

Right alongside you.


We live in a fallen world with many hurts and disappointments.

This isn’t how we saw our lives.

This wasn’t the plan.

People weren’t supposed to be so mean.

My loved one was to be here for many, more years.

But..life happens and you’re caught off guard.

There’s no stopping it, or asking for a do-over.

You can never be prepared.

Lean on God, pour out your heart.

Feel embraced and loved today.

He gets it. He really does.

More than anyone else.

cry-poster-w

And yes, someday…

Someday…IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE.

That is the HOPE I choose to lean on;

to cling to.

It’s my ONLY choice, really.

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Biking & My Back

Eight months ago, I developed yet another physical problem.

It seems to be every time I turn around…geez.

Severe back pain with pain in both hips, a knee, and sometimes down my thighs.

It felt like I had been run over.

EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Even my lower ribs would hurt to touch.

Biking, cycling, walking in Farmland in Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington Indiana bike trail

 

Oh, I’ve had back issues throughout my life, and saw the chiropractor every month,

But this was…

can’t walk, can’t sit, can’t sleep, can’t even focus..because the pain was so bad.

PAIN all day; all night.

I did everything and went everywhere trying to  find an answer.

To. Everyone.

X-ray, MRI, CT scan, back therapy.

Nothing had helped. 😦

[I thought maybe Magnesium, Potassium, upping my Vit. D, multiple Epsom salt baths…oh, I don’t know, ANYTHING???]

I hate opioids for pain. So, I just tried my best to cope.

But, I wasn’t coping very well.

I’ve been grasping at straws.

I’ve carried hot water bottles, tucked into the waist of my pants, used hot and cold compresses, wore a back support brace, smelled like Ben Gay, bought up heat activated capsaicin pads at the $store, tried foam rollers, a Thera Cane massager, tennis ball…

You get the idea.

Nothing was helping!

I’ve come to learn these last few years that chronic pain is a whole other ballgame.

I pray a lot for those people. It is plain torture.

I get it.

It takes a lot to want to do anything, and I sure feel for people who deal with it.

Bless their hearts!

They’re heroes in my book, that’s for sure.


So, for me to go on a long, long, L    O    N    G  car trip, (over 2,000 miles) was a real act of faith!

(I was tagging along on a business trip with my hubby Story Here)

But, to not only get home in decent shape but to then go on a bike ride today?

NO FREAKIN WAY! 
But I did just that…

On my beachcomber. It felt so freeing after not being able to ride since last year at this time.

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The trip east, the bike ride…

It was no short of a miracle. LITERALLY!

(Let me also say, I HAVE had a lot of prayer going up for me!)

I had a little pain in my knee today, when I woke, but hey, what a victory it’s been for me these last couple of weeks!

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Can we say, HALLELUJAH?!

I sure hope I’m on the upswing.


In honor of getting back on my bike today, and answered prayer…here are a few pics of a trail near our home.

Rails to Trails.  Link HERE

The colors are a changin’!

Bike hike or cycle bloomington Indiana trails.

We thought about upgrading to gears, but these beachcombers really make us work harder. 🙂

You should see the way these young kids look at us as they speed past us on their geared bikes. I want to yell, “Yeah, I’m huffin’ and puffin’ but I’m 53 and doin’ this without cheating like you, ha! ;)”

Do any of you ride? Where are your favorite places to ride?

Rails to Trails Bloomington, Indiana

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img_6198img_6190Taken with my iPhone 5, all pics property of ©thentherestwo.com. Follow me on Instagram! NOTE: I will be posting more info on particular trails in the area, come on back!

 

Taking the Fun Out of Fall for Everyone

When I first saw this, I thought…

well, if that doesn’t take all the fun out of FALL for A LOT of people!

Then, I thought…

a lot of my friends are going to be upset when they see how someone broke down their Pumpkin Spice Latte! HA

At this time, every year, I read all over facebook how people can’t wait for this season to roll around, just so they can go out and buy one,

or two, or three.

Thus, this poster jumped into my head.

spice-latte-poster

Her First Wedding Anniversary

wedding couple

Yesterday was our 29th wedding anniversary but today is my daughter and son-n-law’s FIRST.

My husband and I reflected on our first and thought of how many, many years have passed.

Some years seemed very slow. but as we age

and age…

THEY.SPEED.UP

Almost too fast!!

Sometimes, it seems sad.

We’re empty nesters now because our son just got married in August.

My advice to young people. (Yeah, you know you want to hear it. ha)

Barn wedding in Georgia

Yes, have fun.

Yes to adventure.

But don’t be going, doing, talking, moving so often that you don’t slow down.

You may just risk burning yourself out. And then, it’s too late.

Always take the time to be purposeful. Purposely slow down and take in the moment.

Be present.

Put your phone down.

bride and groom on a farm

<script
Have meaningful conversations face to face.

You’ll never regret it.

I promise!

Someday, you’ll be right where I am thinking about how you could

have slowed down even more.

wedding-couple

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let things go.

Choose your battles.

Schedule in reflective time.

Make a memory.

family wedding picture

If you want to see more wedding pics,  I wrote about the wedding day here:

http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ


*all photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

29 Years Ago, I Married

1987 weddin day

Today I’ve been married 29 years.

October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.

We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and

he was a sophomore.

He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.

He studied business, and I was in education.

Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?

Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.

I was 23 and he was 22.

Yep, an entire year.

me-teaching-in-china

(me and a few students)

Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂 Obviously.

We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.

I think it made us stronger, actually.

Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.


Communication was tough.

Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.

I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.

I grew increasingly frustrated. :/

They were all  trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!

I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!

Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!

us-and-kids

Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?

Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends 🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.

Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!

(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)

Plus, it was so expensive.

So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.

Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to  disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)

Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.

I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…

“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.

(I like lots of details.)

Then I’d WAIT.

Wait for weeks.

And another tape would arrive with all my answers. 🙂

It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.

It was a lifeline, and  it helped me get through the year.

One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.

Our families really got a kick out of that one.

We worked really hard on those lyrics.


me and tim

So, we still have all those tapes.

LOTS of them.

We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.

He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.

It was a time warp, really.

Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly asked  demanded we turn it off. 😉

I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.

I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him! 🙂


I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.

And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.


So, here we are 29 years later.

Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.

We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.

But, together.

That’s KEY.

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WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.

Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.

Many of them my health battles.


BEST of FRIENDS, STRONGER!

That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.

I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.

Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!

God has surely been with us the whole way.

family-wedding-pic

NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in YOU!

When Your Dog is Jealous of Mom

No kiddin’ this is what my daughter’s dog does every time she tries to Facetime me.

Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.

Her name is Daisy. Daisy was in need of a home, a few years back.

They already had another dog from the pound (Tebow), but this puppy was being driven around the Walmart parking lot, by a couple, asking if anyone could take her.

Yeah, my daughter couldn’t resist.

They even got featured in their engagement shoot.

(pictures by Haley Dawn Photography)

The little brat (“the paw”) is bottom right. 🙂

Engagement pic with the Falcon fans.

But Daisy will either lay right on my daughter’s face, or put her paw over her face.

She’s even blocked the camera with her body.

Can we say S P O I L E D?!

Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.

My daughter, and I can only see each other (via Facetime) as she lives in Georgia, and I’m in Indiana.

This dog is going to be so jealous when my first grandbaby arrives…Sure.of.it!

Plaid Vest and Denim at Marshalls

So, my loving husband got me some great, fall clothes at Marshalls.

I was tagging along with him, on his business trip, to Maryland. LUCKY ME.

We don’t have a Marshalls store near us, so when he asked if I wanted to stop in after our dinner, of course, I didn’t hesitate. 😀

I love fall clothes, and Marshalls had some of the CUTEST vests ever!

I really don’t shop all that much, but when I do, I love a good deal!


Rarely do I even go to the mall.

I try to not to spend full price on anything, but this was a little different in that these were new, 2016 fashions, and not on sale.

(Kind of a first for me…no really, just ask my hubby.)

AND having had healthier days this year, I found myself getting out more, and actually felt like dressing which led to shopping. 😉

My itching (this skin disease) has been much better and clothes, besides pajamas, are now more of an option for me. 🙂 Thank. the. Precious. Lord.

I usually could only stand so much clothing, on my body, maybe an hour or so, then back to pjs it was.

The clothes had to be soft, soft and SOFTER.

Did I say SOFT?

Therefore, my fall wardrobe needed a bit of an overhaul.

You know those sweaters you have had for years, and the fuzz balls are now so offensive, you have no choice?

Ditch ’em.

Yes, you must.

Even if it is your fa   vor   ite.

It just can’t handle one more fall season.

Trust me.

So, before leaving for our trip, we had a garage sale,

and I did just that.

I rummaged through my closet, and drawers, throwing out heaps of ratty things.

I also gave tons away,

LOADS.

So that counts, right?

I had clothing dating back to the 80s.

Oh, and about 8 lbs. of old, costume jewelry…love jewelry.

(As soon as I throw it out, I will be looking for it..just wait.)

I know we can’t keep it all, but everything is cycling back around. I could so easily re-buy the same, exact, items I gave away (to Goodwill) many years ago.

i. e.

wide belts

desert boots

moccasins

jean jackets

jean vests

jean purses

patched jeans

acid washed jeans.

I have noticed this is the year of “jean everything”

Yep, it’s all coming back.

OK..my thoughts are all over the place.

I digress.

Anyhoo, I did appreciate the hubby’s thoughtfulness.

♥Thanking my main man!

and well,

our 29th wedding anniversary IS just around the corner. 😉

Fall 2016 women's clothing from Marshalls stores.

 

Here’s the online link if you want to “browse” Marshalls or find a store for yourself!

PS Marshalls didn’t ask me for a recommendation; I just liked what I found!

Plaid Vest and Denim at Marshalls

vest– British Khaki

 

shirt– Ellen Tracy

 

booties- Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita booties from Marshalls

These booties were so COMFY and easy to slip on! A great, suede feel to them too!