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Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

For all the single ladies that don’t have a partner this Valentine’s Day, who are tired of seeing those ridiculous commercials for $19.99 roses, the pajama gram, and the 4 foot teddy bear (what grown woman has a place to put a 4 foot teddy bear?!), stop watching The Notebook and put the ice cream down.  It is time to put your big girl Spanx on, your Adele CD down, and empower yourself.  Go get a massage, buy yourself some new shoes, or go to the gym and put songs like Stronger by Kelly Clarkson and Sara Evans on your iPod.  So what you are single?  

Dr. Laura S. Brown, professor of psychology at Argosy University/Seattle, offers tips on how single guys and gals can celebrate Cupid’s Day, instead of being defeated by it.

The following are more ways that single men and women can enjoy Valentine’s Day without worrying about the pressures and pitfalls that often come with the holiday:
1. Do not define yourself by your relationship status. Your relationship status is not your identity.
2. If you are single because of a recent loss, allow this to be a day of grieving. Do not pretend that it’s not a hard day. Get support and sympathy.
3. Realize that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not about love and relationships; it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. Think of all the money you are saving.
4. Plan well in advance to do something that will not place you in the path of billing and cooing couples. Even if you usually like dining out alone, do something else on Valentine’s Day.
5. Get together with people who do love you -- friends, family members, the people who already have relationships with you.
6. If you are single and you don’t want to be, start now to think about what is in the way of you creating the relationship you want. Find ways to work on becoming the person your dream partner would fall in love with. Start therapy. Take up yoga. Begin to volunteer. Create art. Make meaning. Act to change the world. It is into the fullest lives that love is most likely to fall.
7. If you are single and you like it, now is the time to affirm your choice. People who never marry or partner have close, loving, emotionally intimate relationships and lives worth living. Do not let a couple-driven culture define your choice as something wrong. 

This is my personal favorite quote that comes from a dear friend of mine “Amy married women are just as miserable as single women.  The only difference is we have to wash dirty underwear, talk about hunting, and lay in bed thinking of way to kill our husbands because they won’t stop snoring!”  

I am actually looking forward to tomorrow night.  No, I won’t be partaking in a romantic candle lit dinner, complete with roses, wine and chocolates in a heart shaped box.  Since Angel is with her Dad, I will be going out and know I will have a blast, single and all!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Out of the Crib

The night before last I was awaken by Angel’s cry.  These were not her normal whines coupled with “Mommy get out”, “Down”, or “Mommy bed” wanting me to come and get her and let her sleep with me.  These cries were ones of distress.  I was so tired and was finally able to fall asleep after my mind raced for what seemed like hours.  Like most people when I lay my head down, no matter how tired I am, my mind begins to fill itself with to do list, the daily recap, things I should have said, prayer list, how cold will it be tonight, is the heat on, will Angel be warm enough, check her monitor, who’s birthday is coming up, what am I going to get Sarah for her baby shower, the list goes on and on.  But at 1:45 in the morning when I heard this cry I tore the covers back and ran towards Angel’s room, crying out because I stepped on Mr. Potato Head’s arm.  I didn’t have to reach Angel’s room before I knew what the problem was.  She stood before me in the living room crying with her arms out stretched saying, “Mommy hold you”.  I scooped her up and held her to me and told her it was ok Mommy was here.  She had crawled out of her crib.  I was wondering when this day would come.  She had tried to climb in and out of her crib in my presence, but I told her she would fall out and hurt herself.  Of course she understood that, right?  I didn’t see any blood or scratches on her, so of course I carried her into my room and put her into my bed.  She fell right back asleep.  I, on the other hand, was trembling, my veins filled with adrenaline.  I lay there shaking feeling like I was going to vomit.  It scared me so badly.  All of the what if’s filled my head and it was another hour before I fell back asleep.  She woke me up in the morning with a big smile and a “Hi Mommy!”  I made sure she didn’t have any bruises before I asked her how she got out of bed.  I am still waiting on an answer.
Last night when I put her down I moved the crib away from her dresser and pulled the bassinet that holds her baby dolls and stuffed animals away from it also, in case either of these were aiding in her escape.  I put pillows on the floor around the crib and made sure her monitor was where I could see and hear it.  I lay down exhausted from lack of sleep from the night before and as usual the list began.  Before I got to in depth with it I thought maybe I should put one more pillow on the floor.  Today I called a friend of mine who is coming over to convert her crib into a toddler bed.  The crib chapter closes and so begins a new one which I am certain will contain a little girl, beside my bed, staring me awake, wanting to get into bed with me.  I see a worn pathway between my room and hers as she comes and I take her back.  This should be very interesting! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Redeeming Love

As we enter the month of February (wait what happened to January?) most people think about love, relationships, pink ribbons tied around red roses, chocolates, and Hallmark cards.  Guys begin to stress about what to get their girl to make her happy (and most likely shut up).  For those of us that are single, this month can conjure up feelings of loneliness, hurt, and bitterness.  I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day so it won’t affect me this year, just like it hasn’t affected me the past few years.  In regards to someone appreciating my love, I would rather it be a random day in August and not a dozen roses, a single rose caressing my face as I wake up in the morning.  I have spoken to so many women who are single, who loathe this day.  It is just another day.  I know my Valentine’s Day is coming.

A friend of mine gave me a book for Christmas entitled Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.  It is a love story and is considered to be the retelling of the book of Hosea from the Bible.  The stories are about a man who loves a woman so unconditionally that he doesn't care that she was a prostitute and left him twice to go back to being a prostitute.  Reading this book made me think about the kind of man I want to be with and the type of marriage I expect. I strongly recommend anyone read this book, especially if you are mending a broken heart.  My heart has been mended after being ripped out, stomped and spit on.  After almost 2 years of wanting to be loved by the only man I have ever truly loved, I was finally able to accept things for how they are.  I have healed an am whole again.  Now that that chapter of my life is closed I'm ready to begin a new one.  I have found through my own self-discovery that before you can be happy with anyone else you have to first be happy with yourself.  I can truthfully admit that I am happy with myself, where I am with my life, and what I have and don’t have in it.  What I want and don’t have yet is a husband.

I have prayed and asked God to send me a husband.  I can see him when I pray, and although I can't make out his face I know God has chosen him for me.  I see him pull me close when I'm weak.  I see him wiping tears away from my eyes when I'm sad.  I see him standing by my side as we watch Angel grow, telling me he is so proud of her, and having the same joy in his eyes for her as I do.  We will grow old together and he will hold my purse in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.  I will love him more than I have ever loved any man.  I will be there for him, I will tend to him, and I will support him until I die.  I have so much love to give, and I can't wait to give it.  I have never wanted to say I love you so badly to another person, and I don't even know them yet (or maybe I do :).  My patience is being tested and sometimes I think, What is taking God so long? I am ready.  Send him to me!  My extraordinary friend that gave me this book said to me, “Amy, you may be ready but God may still be working on him.”  Wow!  So I will continue to be patient and pray.  
For now I have do have someone that I love unconditionally.  She will be my Valentine just as she has been and always will be.