Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Lent Plant

I couldn’t decide what to give up for Lent.


I have a plant in my office that one of my co-workers gave me last year when my grandmother died. I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about plants, and to be perfectly honest, it really should be illegal for any plant retailer to sell me anything that requires attention exceeding a rainy day in the 5-day forecast.

The sad truth is that I’m kind of bad news for any living thing. I forget to water plants; I have killed goldfish before I ever even got back to my car in the parking lot of the pet store; I let a teeny tiny kitten out of the house and he never came back. In all honesty, the only living thing that I’ve ever been entrusted with that is still thriving is the two-year old…and that’s probably only because he literally takes me by the hand and drags me to the fridge when he’s hungry…and will not quit unless I feed him.
I really don’t know what my co-worker was thinking when she gave me this doomed plant. She obviously didn’t know me well enough at the time to realize that she was sentencing the poor thing to a long, slow death. How I have been treating this plant may even be considered torture in some states. I let the leaves get JUST close enough to wilting before I remember to water it. Then I water it JUST enough to tease the leaves into clinging to life a little longer in the hopes that “this time the crazy plant lady will do better.” But nope. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t do it on purpose…but I do it…and that’s bad enough.

So I’m making a commitment for Lent. I’m giving up


For the next 40 days I will water
“Lenny, the Lent Plant”
each morning that I am at work. Who knows…I MAY even take this spiritual experience to an extreme and re-pot the poor thing. This morning I jumped on the Lent Band Wagon by moving Lenny closer to the window so he can get a good view of the sunshine. He’s already perking up and looking like a better version of himself.

And every morning, as I water Lenny and check his leaves for signs of wilt, I will remember that Jesus made an incredible sacrifice so that I would not wilt. So I would not be thirsty. So there would be no death and I might have eternal life. Every morning, I will remember...

...Lenny isn’t the only one who benefits by being a little closer to the Light.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love Affair

I grew up in a household with two self employed parents. When February rolled around every year, we knew not to talk, look at, or even breathe in the general direction of my father when he was working on tax stuff. You learned real quick that the end result would be plain old ugly.

And I doubt my parents will approve. In fact, they will likely disown me for admitting my true feelings for the one for which they hold such disdain. But I can no longer hide it...I don't care what my parents say....I must shout it recklessly from the rooftops.....

Question: When is it a good thing to be a divorced working mother with a mortgage and hefty school tuition payments? When I ask you???
Answer: TAX TIME BABY!!!
Yes...I just spent the most amazing lunch hour I ever had with an elderly gentleman at the tax place. His name was Richard. And at the end of the hour...I fell in love with the division of government that Elderly Richard represents...the IRS. It may just be the love affair to end all love affairs, as I am truly enamored.
The Medic may need to step it up a notch. : )

A Hump Day Horn Blowing

Since my recent blog about my Chick-Fil-A addiction, I have been thinking about branching out into a new world of fast food breakfast. So this morning, as I was headed to work, I steered my car into the Micky D's parking lot in search of a new experience.

An Egg McMuffin it is! And yes...throw in a large, thirst-quenching diet coke as well. Let's live dangerously! I spoke my order into the general direction of the computerized window and pulled forward. There were several cars ahead of me, so I sat there and bee-bopped to Britney Spears on the radio as I waited my turn.

In front of me there were two occupying a Silver Toyota and the other in a Blue Honda. In front of them, at the window where you pay for your "balanced breakfast" was a truck. After about 30 seconds the truck pulled forward to the next window. Obviously the next thing to happen would be that Silver Toyota would pull forward. But she didn't. She sat there.

And she sat there. And sat there. And I'll be honest...I was starting to think, "'s your turn. Please move!" (Notice I said "please.") And then it happened.

Blue Honda got PISSED. And when I say PISSED...I mean that Blue Honda THREW HERSELF ON HER HORN WITH ALL OF HER BODY WEIGHT. It scared the hell out of me and sent an entire flock of birds flying out of a nearby tree in fear for their lives. Even Britney Spears stopped singing on the radio to see what the commotion was all about. True story.

So Silver Toyota, who, of course, will now feel like an idiot for the next hour of her life, pulls forward to take care of business. And this is when it occurred to me that there are two kinds of people in the world.

Horn Tooters and Horn Blowers.

Horn Tooters will gently tap on the horn...a polite little "toot toot" (or "beep beep" if their car is foreign) in an effort to say things like, "Excuse me sir or madame, it's your turn," or "Hello there...the light is green. Have a good day!"

Horn Blowers will lay on the horn until you and everyone around you gets the message loud and clear that they think you are, in fact, AN EFFING IDIOT. And their work is not done until a tiny part of you begins to believe it as well.

The entire experience made me miss my chicken burrito and the morning staff at Chick-Fil-A. I bet they are rounding up a search party this very second....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And Suddenly Things Make More Sense

Ex just called me.

I always get nervous when he calls and E is with him. As a mom that just makes your heart kind of leap up into your throat in vomitous high jump fashion. And of course, you have to answer the phone. What else could it be about?

Ex and I have had a weird relationship since our divorce. It has gone from the extremes of "getting back together" conversations to "Good Lord, what was I ever thinking?!?!" moments. We've settled somewhere in the vicinity of "I'll give you a kidney if you ever need it, but we really don't have to be best friends." And honestly, life is pretty good that way. I know he's someone that I'll always love, but assuming everything is ok with E, I really have no use for him on a day to day basis (with the exception of the occasional need for directions downtown...he's still handy to have at phone's length if I find myself taking a wrong turn into a ghetto neighborhood. The man is a walking GPS).

So when the phone rang tonight, I assumed something was up with E and answered it nervously. The question that poured forth from Ex's mouth was...unexpected. It wasn't an update on my son's health or a question about potty training or big boy beds. It was...

(and in his defense, he did preface it like he always does with, "Will you hate me if I ask a stupid question?" and I answered like I always do with "I don't know...let's find out.")...

"How do you spell E's middle name?"


E's middle name is Timothy.

1. How many ways can you spell that?



At first I assumed he and the girlfriend were brainstorming baby names. They are unexpectedly expecting their first in August, and I just figured they were working on a passable list. But then Ex told me why he needed the correct spelling...he's tattooing E's name on his heart.

Kind of sweet...because it's very obvious that he loves E more than anything on this earth. But I couldn't resist the urge to offer up the observation that he'll have to go back after the new baby comes to add to the list. And all of his subsequent children will have to have a spot as well.

ME: "You're going to have a booby full of babies."

HIM: "I'll save room for more. See...I do have a brain."

And THAT is what you call "A Can of Worms that is Better Left Unopened."

Dear Ex,

In situations like this, Google is a better bet than a phone call to the ex wife. But thanks for the blog fodder.

Happy to Love you From a Safe Distance,


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Difference

Since The Medic has entered my life, it has sent me into a tailspin of thinking through "relationship stuff." We are still very new in each other's lives, and like I said in an earlier post...I'm trying harder than ever to just let things be. I don't want to rush anything or force anything. And I don't want this to be a situation where I like the idea of the guy more than I like the actual guy.

In the past, there have been guys that I have dated that I have either had crazy hyper butterflies over even though they were a HORRIBLE guy for me to date, or I was trying to convince myself to like them because they were genuinely really wonderful guys, and I felt like I just should.

But then last night happened. Something is different this time.

The Medic was supposed to come to the house last night after his shift ended. He had been sick all week with some kind of stomach bug, and still wasn't feeling great. But he wanted to hang out and said he was feeling better...just tired. However, at the end of his shift he got violently sick again and began having chest pains. His partner hooked him up to an EKG machine and was concerned about the reading. The Medic began texting me to let me know what was going on. His partner wanted him to go to the ER, but he was nervous about it and really didn't want to go. I bombarded him with questions and eventually he just said he needed to calm down. So I told him I was praying for him and to let me know what he decided.

A little while later, he called me and we talked for a while, and I convinced him to go get checked out...just to put his mind at ease. I could tell he was really scared, and he admitted that he doesn't handle "health stuff" very well. So he headed to the ER. About 30 minutes later I get a text that said "Please pray for me. I am so scared."

And this is how I know that I like HIM...and not just the idea...

I could have said a quick prayer and went on with my evening. I could have sent a quick text and gotten back to my take home exam. I could have told him everything was going to be ok, and then went on about my business like everything really was.

But that's not what I did.

When I realized he was scared and needed prayer, I put down my take home exam, shoved my computer off my lap, and found myself on the floor,

face. down. in. the. carpet. PRAYING.

An hour later he sent me another text telling me that there was a blockage in his heart. And I found my face in the carpet again. This time, I prayed until I broke an actual sweat. I even called my parents to get them to pray. I prayed until I heard from him again two hours later.

He's going to be fine, and is following up with a cardiologist today. He was relieved to find out that there was something that needed be dealt with and that he had caught it in plenty of time. He is at peace with everything, and his heart is going to be fine.

Mine, on the other hand...

...appears to be treading in very dangerous waters.
Lord, help me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obsession...the sickness...not the perfume

I will openly admit it...


When I get my mind situated on something, it's next to impossible for me to think about ANYTHING ELSE. AT ALL. I can't work, I can't sleep. All I can do is think, think, think about whatever it is that I'm obsessed about at that given moment.

For example...


When I decided it was time for Ex and I to have a baby, I researched fertility awareness and started charting my cycles. I bought books about charting, took my temperature every morning, and became insanely fascinated with whether or not I had ovulated. This is normal behavior for someone who struggles with infertility...

...but I don't. I would have gotten pregnant just as easily if I had simply downed a couple shots of tequila and pounced on Ex during the commercial break of Family Guy.


When most people decide they are going to buy a house, they shop around, mull it over, talk to their peers...and on occassion might even sleep on it. It's generally a slow moving process. I, on the other hand, found a house online, mapped it's location, hired a realtor, and wrote up a contract...all on my lunch break. (SIDEBAR: This turned out to be the best decision I have ever made for myself...but still...I moved like a back-row baptist out of the sanctuary on super bowl Sunday!)


I decided I was going to take up soapmaking. Normally when someone develops a hobby they move into it slowly. They gradually decide that they enjoy spending their time doing it. They become better at it and refine their craft. Not me. I bought enough lye off of the internet to run a small factory for a year and spent countless hours researching essential oils and the ratio of lathering agents to hardness agents in order to design my own recipes. Within the space of 2 weeks I made about 9 batches of various soap...all which I have thrown out because they either smelled like straight up butt, or felt, for lack of a better description, like snot.

As if that wasn't enough, I have thought of a business name for my "soap company" and thought of what I would say to Wal-Mart when they decide to buy my product line from me.

I could keep going. But there any need. I mean, haven't I proven my point? And yes...I am embarrassed to admit all of this to the extremely remote corners of the internet...but I hear the first step in healing is admitting you have a problem.

I think it's beyond obvious.....

I have a problem.
This is something that I have been thinking (obsessing) about a lot lately in light of The Medic entering my life. So far, he has not caught on to the fact that I am...let's call a spade a spade...insane. He still thinks I'm calm, cool, and collected. He even went so far the other night to describe me as "having my act together" and "down to earth." Obviously I'm either a great actress or an incredible kisser. Possibly even both.
This is something I intend to get to the bottom of. And because I now own this little corner of the internet called Grace.Gets.Greater, I'm putting it all out there. Maybe someone will be able to relate. Maybe someone will have some insight.
It's the closest thing I have to therapy seeing as how I blew my ACTUAL therapy money on stuff to make butt scented snot soap.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well said.

A conversation between me and a "also divorced" friend via Facebook chat:

Her: "Hey you. How's life?"

Me: "Pretty good. Staying busy. I see you are back with the boyfriend. How's that going?"

Her: "Couldn't be happier! Things are great and he's actually reciprocating!"

Me: "That's awesome! You deserve it! Keep me posted."

Her: "What about you and the love life?"

Me: "Just started dating [The Medic]. So far, so good. Still too soon to tell though."

Her: "That's awesome! I'm sure it will work out!"

Me: "Yeah. I hope so. But I'm so horrible at dating."

Her: "Everyone is horrible at dating. That's because dating EFFING SUCKS! WE EFFING HATE IT!" ***

***(She didn't say "effing"...I edited...something that she rarely, if ever, does!)

Me: "Well said. Very well said."

And there you have it. Apparently I'm not the only one exhausted with this process of trying people on for size. And why should I be????

Sometimes it really does feel like an all capital letters, cuss worthy kind of journey.

It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Dietary Confession

I have recently started wearing my hair curly again. I only do it about once a week, because it has grown out somewhat wild and unruly. I probably need a haircut, but I can't seem to find the time to make the appointment and drive across town to my Hair Diva. So on most days I blow it out straight. Today I decided to go wild and curly.

I tell you that to tell you this.

My favorite thing to have for breakfast is a chicken burrito from Chick-fil-a. Absolutely love them. They are loaded with chicken, egg, peppers, onions, and cheese. It's an extraordinary little treat that I enjoy multiple times a week.

CONFESSION: I think I eat Chick-fil-a Chicken Burritos for breakfast entirely too often.

This morning, when I drove up to the window and the cashier (whose name I happen to know is Collin) saw my wild and unruly hair, he looked at me, grinned and said "Wow,'re rockin that curly hair! Here's your burrito," and he handed me my bag o' breakfast.

As I pulled away from the drive thru I wasn't sure if I should be flattered that the 20 year old fast food cashier thought my hair was "rockin" or embarrassed that the kid actually knows me well enough to notice a change in my coif.

I'm leaning toward embarrassed...and I'm seeing an Egg McMuffin in my future.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Let It Be....

So I am riddled with this uncontrollable need to

Figure. Things. Out.

I’m not talking about things like, “Why is there always a wicked pile of laundry on my bedroom floor?” The answer to that is pretty obvious, and the solution to that rarely creeps to the top of my list of priorities. I’m talking about relationship things. I’m pretty content with everything else to “let go and let God.” I don’t worry about finances. I usually don’t let the little things get to me…anymore…and I pretty much trust that things in general will work out the way they are supposed to.

But bring a guy into the picture and I am a blubbering mess of anxiety and “what ifs.”

Enter the new boy…AKA…The Medic.

The Medic is someone who I have apparently always had many mutual connections with, but have never really had any contact with before. In fact, in Kindergarten, his best friend was my “boyfriend.” Now, through the bountiful wonders of the world wide web, we have connected and become instantly interested in spending inordinate amounts of time hanging out in the backs of movie theaters and texting until all different flavors of late. (This is harder on me than it is on him considering he’s up in the middle of the night being a reliable first responder in the face of emergency. I, on the other hand, am sacrificing some serious beauty sleep!)

My problem is that as soon as I experience those tummy twitching butterflies, I am anxious about the “what ifs”…and fearful that everything will end. So I’m putting it out there for everyone to witness….

I, Queen of the Grace Gets Greater Blogdom, vow to


I WILL NOT worry about the “what ifs.” I WILL NOT be afraid of what I can’t see or plan. I WILL NOT be “that girl” who makes it something that it’s not. I WILL NOT rush into something that I’m not ready for only to end up breaking someone’s heart...again. This time, I vow to simply

LET. IT. BE.***

***I realize that the very essence of “letting something be” means that it probably shouldn’t require a lengthy pep talk disguised as a blog to get me through it. What can I say? I’m a walking contradiction.***

Let the being begin. On your mark, get set……

Stay. Tuned.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

28 Things I've Learned...the deep end

I just got older. In recent years my birthday has been met with the resounding noise of chaos and drama. But this year, it was pleasantly calm and wonderfully uplifting. With the exception of the fact that I’m slightly freaked out that I can say “Do you remember when we were in middle school and such and such happened….gosh that was 15 years ago,” I am loving year 28. So in honor of…well…me…here is a list of things I have learned in my 28 years as a taker of space on God’s great earth.

1. God is the only consistent thing in life. Seasons change. Lives Change. Circumstances change. Hearts change. The Lord of my life is the only thing that without fail, without reservation, without hesitation….is amazingly, fulfillingly unchanging.

2. Love isn’t in the words. It’s in the actions that preface them…that follow them…that put an exclamation point on the end of them.

3. Having a baby won’t fix things. It won’t make life easier. It won’t solve your heartache. It will, however, make you think differently, love differently, and breathe differently…as if someone else’s life depends on you doing so.

4. Broken hearts keep beating regardless of the pain. And one day, when the pain subsides, the heart will turn to you and say, “I knew if I kept going…one day you would thank me for it.”

5. Life is just better with Nana Love.

6. Sacrificing who you truly are to “make something work” is a disservice to pretty much everyone.

7. If you have to stop and think “Is this really the right thing…should I do this…is this where I’m supposed to be…” the answer is very likely NO.

8. Loving without “Zing” costs $48 for the dinner and the movie. Loving without logic costs $1500 for the divorce attorney. Loving with both…absolutely priceless.

9. That voice that speaks truth to you in a calm collected way, when the world makes absolutely no sense and everything around you is clouded by emotion…that voice that comes from no where and seems completely peaceful when there’s absolutely no reason that it should…that voice is the Holy Spirit.

10. Other people think about me a lot less than I ever thought they did. And I have learned to think a lot more about me than I ever thought was ok.

11. Those few extra pounds won’t hurt me as long as I can own them and love them for part of who I am. It’s when I don’t want to own them that something needs to change.

12. There are few memories more precious than sitting up until midnight talking with your grandparents…who were much cooler than you ever gave them credit for.

13. It’s really easy to blame your issues on your parents. It’s harder to say “yeah, they could have done x or y differently. But it’s MY journey now.”

14. Christianity, like so many other things, isn’t about the things you do. It’s about who you know and who knows you.

15. Striving for perfection is much more exhausting than being the first to point out the fact that you are flawed.

16. A true role model is someone who says “I can live life better” and then proceeds to go about doing it.

17. If you’re not willing to genuinely say “I’m sorry,” then you can’t ever really mean “I love you.”

18. Sometimes I need a “time out” too.

19. When someone asks for a favor it’s ok to say no.

20. Genuine happiness doesn’t have to be broadcasted with words. It’s just there.

21. The art of being a good conversationalist is knowing when to shut up and say “your turn, I’m listening.”

22. Very few work related mishaps can’t be taken care of with the genuine statement, “I understand completely, and I’m going to take care of you.”

23. When the urge strikes you to pray with someone…YOU DO IT. No matter where. No matter what.

24. Whether it’s a piano recital, marriage, or divorce, sometimes the greatest compliment there is will be “At least you kept going.”

25. The dishes and laundry can wait if there is an opportunity to make a memory with your child. Period.

26. One of my proudest achievements thus far is getting my child to say “peeaaasssee” and “take-oo”

27. Sometimes the best gifts you can give someone are a sturdy shoulder, permission to be exactly who they are in that moment, and the assurance that you'll love them just the same.

28. One of the greatest opportunities to honor God is a second chance that is not wasted.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Raining Men...Hallelujah...It's Raining Men....

Dating since my divorce has been quite the little roller coaster. There were times where I got the butterflies and wanted the ride to go faster. And there were times when I pretty much just felt like throwing up the sum total of the day’s junk food and cheesy romantic one liners. On the whole I’ve met some really great guys. But the process has been exhausting.

My parents didn’t really understand why I wanted to jump back into dating. And quite honestly neither did my therapist. (I stopped seeing her when I realized I could save the $70 an hour and get the same gentle judgment from the raised eyebrows of my mother….hi mom!)

Anyway…dating has been interesting. I never really dated much in high school or college. I usually found out about a guy liking me after he was married to someone else or had turned gay. Either way…not much help for the dating life. And when Ex came along, we dove in head first with nary a thought for whether or not it made sense…which is in part why I refer to him as “Ex” and not “Sweet Husband O Mine”. And since I have been single again, I have gone through various phases of “dating” that have oscillated wildly from “get back on the horse” to “beat the dead horse with a really girthy stick.” I’m told that somewhere in between the two is a healthy place…but I don’t recall ever having been on a date there.

I did however go on a date or dates with the following:

The Rebound
The Guy Who Talked About Trees for Two Hours
The Really Nice Guy Who I Really Didn’t Want to Ever Touch Me. EVER.
The Really Really Short Guy Who Looked Like George Bush
The Bad Boy…there were fireworks AND 2nd degree burns.
Super Man…(he sent me flowers and loved the fact that I was “a challenge”)
The Fix Up Guy…at least the movie was good.
The Man Who Knows Where He Was When Kennedy Was Shot
Mr Right???…totally got food poisoning on the date…but it was nice to be taken care of for a little while.
Super Man…again…yeah…I totally believe in recycling.

And while most of these guys have uneventfully fallen out of my life, there were lessons learned, a few semi-wild oats to be sewn, and a new me to uncover. And the journey, while somewhat exhausting at times, has been good for my guts.

And to Mr. Right and Super Man (because I KNOW you two still read this thing…)

The flowers, the toilet, and the unending supply of diet coke were much appreciated. But the part that I’ll take with me is the fact that you were there when I realized just how worth it I really am.

"I'm Sorry" may never be enough.
THANK YOU doesn’t even begin to cover it.