Monday, July 29, 2013

Not tonight...

I really do have a headache.  I've had one off and on for a few days now.  So bad yesterday that I took a nap and actually considered NOT going to the Braves game with my family.  (Thankfully I decided to go and had a great time!)

But now I'm sitting here and I've had a nagging ache in my head ALL day long.  More so now that I'm home.  I've taken Ibubrofen and slept, but it's still hanging around.  After typing this, I will probably get ready for bed and hope maybe that helps too.

I started training at my new job today.  It was long, longer than days I've had at work in a long time, but profitable. I gathered a lot of information and am compiling it into a notebook that will hopefully help me when I go live on the phones.  I also met a few new people.  Not just the trainer, but the 3 other people who are being trained with me.  We are quite an array of people: 2 mothers of 3, a grandmother/financial planner and a Kennesaw State nursing student.  I also met someone who has worked there a few weeks.  And, wouldn't you know, she ends up being the wife of a former Gwinnett Brave!  I was so excited!  That was very cool!  I enjoyed talking to her about where he is now and what he is doing.  Also about baseball behind the scenes and my oldest son's desire to make it big.  All in all, it was a good day.  (Not to mention that there is a Starbucks just next to where I work and the soda machine in the break room that contains Mountain Dew is only $.30!!!!)  I'm in trouble!

It was nice to come home too.  I had left JJ in charge of the boys today and left some things for them to do.  Amazingly enough, all but one of those things was done.  (It even included an hour of reading time of books I previously okayed.)  Sparky met me at the door more excited than I have seen him in a long time.  (He hasn't left my side since!  He's even lying on the bed next to me now.)  Joshua was next, followed by Zach and, eventually, Elijah.  All boys said they had missed me.  I missed them too. However, at this point, with as much time as we've spent together over the last 13 years, I think it's a positive thing.  (Absence makes the heart grow fonder.)  They told me a bit about their days and I suggested we go to the pool for a bit.  Two of them jumped up and down yelling "Yes" while Joshua said, "I would be interested in doing that."  We enjoyed the sun and the water....and each other's company.  (When was the last time that happened?????)

Now, we are fulfilling our Monday night ritual.  The boys are downstairs watching WWE Monday Night RAW while Steven and I are upstairs watching the Braves (getting exciting now since they are making a comeback!).  Now, I will wash my face, get my pjs and watch the rest of the game from the comfort of my bed, under the covers.  Work again tomorrow, hopefully no headache, and plans to run in the morning.

Good Night!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I spend a lot of my time frustrated.  At my husband, my kids, financial situations, job situations, etc.  I would hate to see how much of my life I have spent that way.  I'm sure it would be overwhelming!  Then, I got a little perspective.

A friend, a girl I've know for years (since she was a teenager, maybe before.  She was in the first youth group I ever volunteered in), just found out that she has lymphoma.  It was a very sudden thing, but very devastating.  She discovered a lump Thursday and was in chemo on Sunday the following week.  She spends 5 days in the hospital getting aggressive chemo treatments.  In that time, she can't see her 4 beautiful girls or go outside.  She will be doing this for several months, I believe.  I read a blog she posted yesterday and it brought tears to my eyes.  Not just in pain for her and her family, but in how I have wasted so much time fuming over things that don't really matter.  She is facing a life and death situation and is praising God through the whole thing.  She has a faith that I can only dream of.  I was so convicted and encouraged by her message.  (Maybe that's why she is going through this trial.  To help me and people like me increase their faith and make Jesus a bigger part of their lives.)  I long to live that kind of life, but it almost seems impossible.  I know in my head that I need to make Jesus a bigger part of my life, but I don't follow through.  (I get so upset at Steven sometimes for not following through on things.  Now look at me!)  I don't know if I'm scared or intimidated or feeling unworthy.  I haven't put my finger on it yet.  I'm praying for God's help.

In the meantime, I will also pray for Andrea and continue to read her blog.  That may be all the encouragement I need.

Hang in there, Andrea!  We are all with you!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer is almost over...

I had a great time with my boys yesterday.

Summer is almost over.  School starts in less than 2 weeks.  I start a new job and will be in training all next week, their last week before school starts.  (Actually working 2 jobs on 3 of those days: 1 in the morning and 1 at night.)  I wanted to spend some special time with them before they spend their days with other kids and adults.

So, I took them to a movie.  This was a big deal!  I know we go to the movies a lot in the summer.  They are older movies that are only $1.  But we went to a REAL, current movie!  Despicable Me 2!  (I had 3 free movie tickets so only paid for one of us.  $5!)  The movie was good.  Even my almost teenager was laughing!  I even laughed out loud a few times.  (Mr. Sheepsbutt.  It's Ramsbottom.  Yeah, like THAT's any better!  LOL)  It was a cute story and a good time for our family.

Then we went to lunch in the mall.  Elijah and I had Chick-fil-a (always a good choice).  Zach and JJ wanted Checkers.  Thankfully, that's easy in a mall food court.  The food was good.  The conversation was good.  I so enjoy talking to my boys when I can get them going on about something other than WWE.

Then we went to Target, got a couple of haircuts, and went to Publix.  (They have their penny item on Thursdays!  Hot dogs this week!)

To top the day off, we went to the park and met my friend Brandon, former minor league baseball player, for some batting tips for Joshua.  (13U tryouts are Sunday!)  Brandon gave 90 minutes of his time to analyze JJ's swing and give him some tips on how he can hit better and harder.  I was thrilled when Brandon told me that Joshua was a smart kid (I knew that already of course) and had good stuff.  Joshua has always dreamed of being a major league ballplayer.  It's nice to hear someone who's been around say that it could be possible.  We'll wait and see.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm sitting here watching Fever Pitch.  (For about the millionth time.  A must see for every Red Sox fan!)  I'm thinking over the last few days and realizing how blessed I am.  I have spent a lot of time fussing and griping because I don't have this or that.  But I have everything that I need and God always takes care of the rest.

Steven took Joshua and Zach to Six Flags yesterday.  (All 3 tickets were free.  That is a blessing in and of itself!)  They had a blast...until it started raining...again.  And I mean storming to the point that Six Flags shut down the rides.  It ended up raining for the rest of the night, lightning and all.  I'm glad they had fun, but I'm glad they came home when they did.  I'm also super glad that Elijah and I didn't go.  Elijah wouldn't have liked the rain at all!

Elijah and I went to Dave and Buster's (1/2 price games on Wednesday) and had a blast.  However, halfway through Elijah said he was done.  I made him play Fruit Ninja about 10 more times so we could get some more tickets.  (There is still credit on his card for more games!!)  But he got a Nerd rope (candy), a koozie to keep in the car and he got me a tumbler with straw that I can use at work.  We then went to Happy Hour at Steak N Shake and had lunch at CFA.  It was nice to spend that time with just my youngest son.  Then he got to spend some time with his Grandaddy and that was great too.

Tonight we went to the end of season party for Joshua's travel team.  It was great to see him interact with his teammates in a different setting.  It was also nice to hear some of the things his coach had to say about him. Tryouts for the next travel team are the 28th so we are praying that it goes well.  What a great group of kids....and parents!

Family Day

What a great day!

Background:  My mom has 4 sisters, all of whom are married and have children.  And now their children have children!  So I have lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and 2nd cousins on my mom's side of the family.  It just so happened that a lot of their birthdays fell in July.  So, many years ago, even before my mom died, my aunt Fredna (who lives in a nice house with a pool) and Uncle John started hosting what was called a July birthday party.  Every year we would get together at their house and swim and celebrate birthdays.  It was always a great time to see family that we don't see much and get caught up.  (This was before Facebook!)

Well, everyone has gotten older and not as enthused to celebrate their birthdays perhaps, but the tradition still continues.  Once a year we get together for swimming and family time.  My kids look forward to it every year.  They know when July comes around that it is time to go to Aunt Fredna's (the one with the diving board) and swim and eat. was that day!  We actually counted 17 family members who weren't able to make it, but we still had a full house.  It's always great to see everyone and talk.  Facebook is good, but it doesn't replace face to face conversation and a hug.

I found out today that my cousin and his wife are expecting a new baby.  (They already have a 2 year old girl who is just precious!)  My other cousin's fiancĂ© is not feeling well and is having some tests run to find out what is wrong (prayer request!).  My aunt still drives a bus but they closed one of the schools that she drives to.  A cousin is getting used to life in Birmingham, a 2nd cousin loves baseball and is an umpire, etc, etc.  I could go on and on.  I just love catching up with them.

Steven has always said great things about my mom's family.  I guess I always took it for granted because I was so used to them and their friendliness.  But he's right.  My cousin's fiancĂ© came and without my cousin.  She already feels like part of the family.  That's the way it's always been.  They are very welcoming to new member and make them feel right at home.  And, even though my parents are no longer living, they still include me and my sister in their family activities and keep us in the loop.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful family around me!

The kids enjoyed the pool and all the playmates.  (There would have been more but 2 of my cousins who had kids the same age couldn't make it.)  Elijah even spent more time UNDER the water than above it!  I was shocked and pleased all at the same time.  He's stubborn and does things in his own way, in his own time.  But he DOES do them.

I am just feeling tremendously blessed today.  Thanks family!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

God is good!

It's been a few days.  Sorry.  Lots of things going on around here, good and bad. 

Sunday night we were up late watching WWE Money In The Bank PPV that my kids purchased WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.  They had an absolute blast.  I don't care for professional wrestling myself and I really wish they would get into something different.  But seeing the enjoyment they experienced that night was totally worth it.  What a great time!

Last night we were up late watching the Home Run Derby.  (Well, 4 of us were.  Elijah was upstairs watching WWE Raw.  The other 2 chose to miss a week to see the derby which only happens once a year.  But not Elijah.  Usually when we try to do family stuff, it ends up being 4 of us.  Elijah is not really the joiner.  He's much better in his routine.  Result of the SPD, I guess.)  It was fun.  There wasn't a Brave in the running, but we love seeing the long shots those guys can hit.  Wow!  (I even found the Triple A Home Run Derby online and watched Gwinnett Brave Ernesto Mejia hit a few!)  They stayed up to see the celebrity softball game, but Sparky and I went to bed.

Despite many other not so good things that have happened over the last few days, today was a good day!  Let me share a bit of background......

Money has been a bit tight around here since Steven changed jobs.  It's just until his production gets back up, I realize.  But it's been tough.  I'm always trying to figure out how I can help.  I mean, I do have a college degree.  However, being out of work for 13 years doesn't endear you to companies.  So I work for the Gwinnett Braves, but that's only seasonal.  It will end in September.  I usually work at Perimeter Church taking care of 1 year olds.  I've been looking for something else, but haven't been able to find anything suitable, so I keep going back every fall.  (It's just through the school year.)  But this summer I've had a strong aversion to going back there.  The people are great and I cherish the friendships I've made there.  But the thought of changing one more dirty diaper or dealing with one more screaming child.....I just couldn't do it.  Steven and I discussed it and agreed.  I am not going back.  But what will I do instead?

Well, Steven wants me to help him with admin stuff.  I am more than willing to do that, and have some, but that doesn't pay me.  It helps him, but it's not enough work to warrant me doing just that.  So I put a resume on and started looking for part time work.  I like my flexibility of schedule and don't really want to give that up.  Plus I still have some young kids at home that I would like to be there for.  Well, I found an opening at Medieval Times at Sugarloaf Mills.  They were looking for someone in their call center.  That's basically what I do now with the Braves.  So I applied.  The following day I got a phone call.  We set up an interview for the following day, today, and I went.   They hired me on the spot!  I am so excited!  I can't wait to learn more about their show and the people involved.  And it's all year round.  They also took into consideration the fact that I would rather work during the day when my kids are at school so I can be home with them.  I look forward to seeing where this takes me.

God is so good.  He knew I didn't want to go back to taking care of children.  That stage in my life has passed.  Not a week after I told my boss that I wouldn't be returning, this job opportunity came up.  And, in a matter of days I got the job.  He certainly does take care of me.  I am so grateful.  May I never forget that all good things come from God.  Wow!

Now the boys are taking me to dinner to celebrate, after I do a market research study.  (That's another thing I do to make money.  It's fun and pays well.)  Thank you, Jesus.  Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tough Times

It's been a long day.  No major details are necessary.  Suffice it to say that Steven and I are fighting and it makes life in the house difficult.  Not to mention that my kids are a bit stir crazy from being trapped by all the rain we've been having.  I tried to take them to a movie today, but Elijah didn't want to go.  Even though that upset his 2 older brothers, I went with that.  Elijah, with his SPD, can make life quite miserable if you make him do something he doesn't want to do.  Sometimes I do, for his own good, and he enjoys it and everyone has a great time.  I just wasn't in the "let's make him" sort of mood today.  Then later, of course, he asked me if he could watch a movie.  I told him "NO" because he had missed his chance.

Then I was going to take them to the pool.  But by the time we got back from CFA (Cow appreciation day) and finished arguing about the movie, it started raining....again!
It's not that I don't enjoy my kids being home.  I really do.  I love each of them very much.  It's just that they would be couch potatoes or would never see the sun if I left it up to them.  I never thought I would have to FORCE them to go outside and play.  I often wonder if my staying home with them over these last 12 years has done more harm than good because they expect me to be their social coordinator.  Not that I always have.  I do plan some things for us to do, but not usually on a daily basis.  But left to their own, they would rather do nothing.

I'm in a tough place right now.  Finances are tight and that's always hard.  I'm trying to find a job to help out but, being out of work for 13 years means that no one wants to hire you.  So I sit here with a college degree from Georgia Tech that isn't being used.  (My father would be very ill with me.)  I feel disposable (from Pastor Steve's sermon) and not useful.  This so isn't where I expected to be at the age of 40.  How do I cope?  How do I turn it around?  Where do I go from here?

Lots of questions.  Still no answers.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Long Day

Wednesday was a long day,  After a 1 hour 15 minute rain delay, I worked a 4 hour game.  Then I had to get up this morning and be there at 10:30am. Tired, frustrated by life, but enjoying the game of baseball.  Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse.  I don't really want to get into it.  Needless to say that I am in bed, exhausted and haven't really spoken much to anyone in  my house since I got home from work.  Time for some sleep.

By the way, Sparky doesn't smell good.  I think it's time for a bath.

Tomorrow will be a better day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A fun family day

What a great day!  After sleeping in until almost 10am (I couldn't sleep last night), I took the kids bowling and then we went to the Gwinnett Braves game.  I got to watch!  (I had the night off.)

Bowling was a blast!  The kids enjoy it so much.  We aren't very good at it, which would probably make my parents cringe.  They were in bowling leagues when I was a kid.  Garalyn and I spent every Friday night, at least, at the bowling alley.  Anyway, it turns out that Elijah (yes, Elijah!) won both games!  I can't remember his first game score, but his 2nd was 109!  Not bad for a 7 year old.  Yes, he was using bumpers, but still!  Now, if I could only get him to bowl by putting his fingers in the holes!

Zach did great too.  He's a bit crazy but, after watching him, I think I've decided he has the best bowling arm.  He can make the ball spin pretty well for his age and skill level.  He was using bumpers too, but did a great job.  He made a few spares.  Here, he just missed a strike.

JJ, however, had a rough day.  He is very competitive so, when he started out not doing so well (he got 129 last time we went), then he just got frustrated.  That only made him bowl worse.  The angrier he got, the worse he did.  He was so upset that his brothers were beating him, he just couldn't hit any of the pins.  I told him to just relax and have fun.  He said it's hard to have fun when you stink.  He really is competitive!  He finally did get some spares.

After a great afternoon of bowling, we decided to head over to Coolray Field to see a game.  I had the night off, it was 2 for 1 if the kids wore their rec jerserys, and Brandon Beachy was making a rehab start against Jair Jurrjens.  We couldn't pass it up!  Unfortunately, it decided to rain on and off while we were there.  Not too big of a deal, unless you are there with Elijah.  Luckily, it didn't rain too hard and we were able to go back to our seats.  The GBraves made it interesting, but ended up losting 4-3.  Jair Jurrjens got a nice hand when he left the game, which I thought was nice.  We were sitting by 3rd base where Alden Carrithers made a few very nice plays, but Stefan Gartrell got stranded there way too many times.  It was fun though. 

JJ caught 2 balls from the players as there were coming to the dugout.
With the storms in the area, the sky sure was pretty.

All in all, it was a great day.  But I'm beat.  Time for bed.  Good night!

Monday, July 8, 2013

And the sun comes out...

Not a lot happened today.  Not that that's a bad thing.  It was a nice, relaxing, comfortable day at the Julian home.  I ran a mile on the treadmill this morning, got some work done for Steven to help him along a bit, took JJ to the orthodontist and found out that he should have his braces off by Christmas.  (However, I thought it would be before that.  My contract says I stop paying in September, so as long as that happens, I'm good.)  Then I took the boys to Suwanee Town Park to run around in the fountains.  Well, Joshua and Zach ran around in the fountains.

 Elijah and I walked Sparky around the park.  Elijah, as a result of his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), doesn't like the water coming at him or falling on him.  Therefore, the fountain wasn't an option for him.  But I enjoyed walking around and talking to him.  He has a difficult time expressing himself, also due to his SPD, so it takes some prying to get things out of him.  For example, I knew he wouldn't go in the fountain because the water is coming at him, but he wouldn't tell me that.  His favorite answer is "I don't know".  I'm trying to get him to really answer my questions instead of bailing out with his trusty "I don't know".  It takes more time in a conversation, but I think it's worth it.

Elijah seems so normal on the outside.  I mean, he is normal.  But he is different too.  I know.  Everyone is different.  But Elijah is unnoticeably different.  He doesn't appear "special needs" and I hesitate to call him that, but it fits in some ways.  I have to think specifically about him in many situations and make accommodations for him.  It's very difficult to find things that we can all do together because he shies away from a lot of things.  It's been hard, but we make it work.  That is one reason we visit different baseball stadiums on vacation every year.  The beach didn't work for us (feel of the sand, waves rolling in and out,etc) but baseball is something we all enjoy.  We started last year when we went to Chicago.  That was the first family vacation we had ever been on the we enjoyed!!!!

Anyway, we are sitting here enjoy a night off from work.  The GBraves are winning (of course, because I'm not there!)  Steven and are I are in our room working and watching the Braves, of course.  The boys are downstairs watching WWE Monday Night RAW, of course.  So goes a Monday night at the Julian home.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sweet Moments

It's been a long weekend already.  Lots of hours working, which I don't mind because I enjoy my job at the stadium.  But it makes me tired and I just don't like being at work when my family is home.  I just feel like I haven't seen much of them lately.  Sometimes that is good though.  I am home with them so much that they never have a chance to miss me.  Mom is just always around.  At least when I go to work, the miss me and am glad when I come home.

Tonight, I got home just after 11 and the bottom of the house was dark.  I put my stuff down and went upstairs.  I noticed that Zach's door was closed and I heard voices.  I knocked on the door and opened it up to find Zach and Elijah listening to Braves historic moments on his MP3 player.  I said hello to them.  Elijah's face lit up.  He smiled, said "Hi Mom" and got off the bed to come give me a hug.  That, in and of itself, was worth the 6 hours that I worked tonight.

I proceeded to talk to Zach as well and then went off to see Joshua.  I enjoy talking to them and asking them what they did and how their night was.  Those are things I don't get to ask when we are together all day.  I enjoy listening to them and seeing how their minds work.  They are great kids and I am so blessed to have them.

I would be remiss, though, if I didn't mention Steven.  He does a great job taking care of the boys while I'm at work.  He feeds them, plays with them, takes them out.  They are all very understanding and supportive of me working nights.  Thanks hon!  I couldn't do it without you!

Odd Woman Out

I have a husband and 3 sons.  Even our dog, Sparky, is male.  I am the only one of my kind in my house.  I am finding it more and more difficult to deal with as they all get older.  (Or maybe it's as I get older, I'm not quite sure which.)

Don't get me wrong.  I love my boys. They are great!  But they are SO messy.  They don't listen well and don't retain information.  (At least the information that I give them.  Sports or WWE information takes precedence.)  I never knew urine could get to those places.  I find clothes and toys in the strangest of places.  And nothing ever gets put back where it came from, but they expect mom to magically know where it is when they want it.  I went so far as to label every drawer in Zach's room so he would know where stuff it.  All he had to do was put the stuff back there once he was done with it.  Nope.  Doesn't happen.  Anyway......

I sit here now making lunch/dinner because I have to be at work, again, at 5pm today.  All the boys are playing upstairs and Steven is playing with the dog.  I'm tired.  I'm frustrated.  I'm wishing the clean fairy would sprinkle her magic dust on my house and that there was a money tree in my backyard.  Ok, enough complaining.

Steven took the 2 older boys to Home Depot this morning for their kids workshop.  They each made some sort of car (that ended up on my kitchen table).  But they were cute.  Elijah, not wanting to try anything new, came to the grocery store with me.  He was so helpful!  He was putting things in the buggy, helped put them on the belt at checkout and even hung around the back of the van to help put them in the car!  That is new for him!  I heaped praise on him in hopes that he will do it next time as well.  Zach and Joshua cleaned around our neighborhood pool (their summer job) and then came home and did chores.  So my house is somewhat clean.  Everyone did their part.  I greatly appreciate all the help they give me.

Now off to eat ham and rice and chocolate pie.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Here we go again!

I was just reading over my old posts.  I can't believe it's been almost 2 years since I posted here!  I remember it being very therapeutic, so I'm not so sure why I stopped.  Busyness, I guess.  So much has happened, so I'll catch you up and we'll start from there.

I still work for the Gwinnett Braves in the summers during baseball season.  I am the game day receptionist so I answer the phones, check tickets, and assists fans on the 3rd floor suite level.  During the school year I still work at Perimeter Church doing child care.

Steven is a financial advisor still, but has changed companies.  He went independent and now works with Cornerstone Private Client Group.

Joshua is 12 3/4.  (He will be 13 in September.  Yes!  A teenager!)  He is going into 7th grade at Hull Middle School.  He is taking 4 gifted classes, playing travel baseball, and is a great babysitter to his brothers.  He loves WWE and knows everything there is to know about sports.  We have nicknamed him "Captain Comment" because he always has something to say.

Zach just turned 10.  He's going into 5th grade, so he's almost done with elementary school.  He enjoys WWE, chess and astronomy, but not reading and writing.  I'm teaching him to type this summer.  He has played soccer, baseball, done tae kwon do and is now taking piano lessons.  His teacher says he is very good and should really stick with it.

Elijah is 7 and is going into 2nd grade.  (Hard to believe after my last post.  I cried when I read that.  It seems so long ago!)  He is doing well.  He likes school and routine of it all.  Summer is harder for him.  He has learned to bathe himself and loves doing WWE moves to his stuffed animals.  He still is a picky eater, but that is typical for someone with his disorder.  He likes fruit so we keep shoveling that in.


We still live in the same house.  Strange, really.  We've lived here 5 years which is the longest we've lived ANYWHERE since we got married.  Sometimes I feel myself getting antsy like we should move again.  But I like everything about where we live, except the age of our house.  It needs a lot of updating.  Slowly but surely we are bringing it to the 21st century.

We still attend The Bridge Church in Lawrenceville.  We took a short break and attended a Methodist church, but that wasn't a good fit.  The Bridge got a new pastor and youth pastor and things are working out very well.  I'm still trying to figure out where God wants me to serve there.  I'm trying to avoid the kids' ministry because of my kids and the fact that I already work with kids.  Still searching.

I'm going to try and keep this updated, for you as well as me.  I find that I have no one other than Steven to talk to about things on a regular basis, so this may help get my thoughts straight.  Thanks for listening.