Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Friar blogged about the movie Doubt today and it made me think. When I saw the previews the movie intrigued me, but when I found out it was about a possible molestation - I was intrigued no longer! I wanted to stay as far away from it as possible. Well, thought maybe I MIGHT rent it on DVD eventually, but certainly would not consider paying to go to the theater and watch it.

I am now wondering if the way I am about stories with bad endings is OK to accept, or should I work on that part of me. I choose books and movies that end happily. I feel like real life has enough sad endings, why should I choose to experience one in my leisure time? I like Disney endings, even if they are not that realistic. Maybe I like them because they are not realistic. Because the truth is, real life just plain sucks sometimes.

When I think of watching Doubt, I actually feel fearful. That is the part that makes me wonder if I am smart or not to put my head in the sand. I am thinking I should go toward things that scare me to overcome them, but maybe that is just in real life and not necessarily movies as well? I know when I saw a movie a few years back, something with Children in the title - it haunted me for weeks. I just think life is too short to give that much of my precious time to something a film maker created in his own mind. I think it is haunting though because there is so much truth in it. These things are real, they really happen to real innocent people. That is what haunts me.

When I think about it, I mean REALLY think about it, there is so much abuse in this world, it does feel overwhelming. It feels like there is no way to protect all of the innocent children out there being abused right now as you read this. The reality is that it happens. Maybe I am not so much afraid of that, but overwhelmed at wanting to stop it. I wish I could do more than watch a movie and be moved. I wish I had the power to change people. I wish our world was more like a Disney movie, and the bad guy gets caught and good overcomes in the end. But, that is not the world we live in.

So, I just keep putting my head in the sand and keeping it there so I don't have to see the real pain around me. It doesn't help me or the ones in pain, but somehow I feel better not looking. That is reality.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I just wanted to ask you to pray for a few things - if you are a praying person - if not, that is OK too!

1) Pray for a quick and complete recovery for one of my favorite blog buddies, Shelley ( )

2) I have still not found my cell phone! Pray if it is here, I will find it, and if not I will have peace with getting a new one!

3) Pray I am hearing God's voice correctly in several areas of my life that I need guidance right now.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Drifting Snow

We have lived in Montana for over 10 years, and I have never seen it like this before. Not at my own house anyway. Sure, there are places that get a lot more wind than we do that get drifts, but I have never had to walk thru snow to my waist to get into my own front door. That is what happened last night though. As we were coming home, the mere 100 yards from mom's house. Luckily, we had driven since we were in our PJs when we went over. We stayed all day, watched the wind and snow out the windows, but didn't notice the drifts until we opened the garage door at 10:30 last night. They were 2 foot high at the doorway. That got my attention. Because I had on my "short shoes". That is our new family joke - not sure you can understand unless you have walked thru high snow in shoes of regular height. Your ankles begin to feel it first, then snow begins to fall down into the shoe, etc... It really isn't too terrible unless it is below zero, then it is painful pretty quickly.

Anyway, people without snow blowers are stuck in their houses and driveways. I have always laughed when people I knew in Texas would say things like, "I could never live there, I wouldn't like being stuck in my house when it snowed!" I laughed because up here, the snow doesn't stop us, usually. Today is a new day I suppose.
I am writing this in honor of the snowplows and their drivers:
Dear Snowplows and your drivers,
I so love that you sacrifice your sleep and comfort to come out in the middle of the night while I am in my warm cozy bed and clear the roads. I love that I wake up in the morning and have a choice to head out into the frozen wasteland or stay all day in my warm house. You see it is about choice. If I choose to go nowhere, that is fine, but today my choice is taken away. I realize last night was still Christmas, so I will forgive your sleeping in. You probably had too much eggnog, but today is the day AFTER Christmas and it is time to get back to work.
with much gratitude and sincerity,
Your friend - Michele

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Here

It's done. The last bit of gifts have been bought, the groceries are all in the cupboard waiting for their designated time to be pulled out and used, the tree is brimming with gifts, the kids are hyper and excited. It is finally Christmas Eve. This morning I feel such relief. It is like all that pressure that has been building and building over the past month has been released like the air out of a pressure cooker when the top is taken off. If it has not gotten done at this point, it will not get done. I am good with that. The kids all have an even number of gifts...well, Lord, I sure hope so!! I quit writing things down last week, so I am depending on memory here, which can be scary! :)
We don't have a lot of Christmas traditions, but there are a few we enjoy.
First, the kids all get new PJs on Christmas Eve to wear that night. So, Christmas morning everyone looks so cute!! I got the greatest PJs ever this year!! Lizzie got red footie ones with silver snow flakes on them, Jake got Stewie from Family Guy - his favorite Character, and Reagan got footie ones with with the sock monkey on them!! Can't wait to share pictures after Christmas.
We always go to the late Christmas Eve Service. It is so beautiful and wonderful to come out of church about midnight realizing it is already Christmas Day.
My kids all get three gifts each under the tree - hey - if it was good enough for Jesus, etc... :) They actually like this tradition. Their three gifts are always something special and unique to each child. Of course Santa brings them something great - this year Reagan is getting a beautiful ring, it is in place of a class ring, which she didn't want. She will only graduate from high school once so want her to have something to symbolize it. Jake is getting a digital camera. He did not ask for it, but I hope he likes it anyway. Lizzie is getting the Barbie cruise ship. She asked for the Polly Pocket Cruise ship - there were none in this town for weeks. Last night in our last shopping spree in search of this, we settled for the Barbie one. If she is bummed out when she gets it I will just tell her that Santa is old and must have gotten confused - which is not that far from the truth really.
We often go to a movie on Christmas Day. I think this may be being replaced though. My mom has a home theater in her basement and last year we just went down there, still in our Jammies and watched any and all of the new movies anyone received as gifts. I think I like this new tradition better!
Well, I don't have anything to do this morning. Little Lizzie is laying here beside me snoring her sweet little snore. She snuck into our bed sometime last night - shhh don't tell her, but sometimes I don't really mind snuggling up to her and smelling her sweetness. I think I will do that right now and drift back off to sleep.
Happy Christmas Eve to you!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I received this as a forward - I took out all that I didn't think applied to me and left all the ones I have personally experienced in my ten years as a Montanan:

Jeff Foxworthy's Comments on Montana:

If "vacation" to you means going shopping for the weekend in Great Falls, Billings or Bozeman (while the kids swim at the Comfort Inn), You might live in Montana.

If parking your car for the night involves an extension cord, You might live in Montana.

If you're proud that your state makes the national news primarily because it houses the coldest spot in the nation, You might live in Montana.

If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too Spendy", You might live in Montana.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, You might live in Montana.

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, You might live in Montana.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, You might live in Montana.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, You might live in Montana.

If you know how to correctly pronounce Butte, You might live in Montana.

If you measure distance in hours, You might live in Montana.

If your family vehicle is a crew cab pickup, You might live in Montana.

If you know several people who have hit deer more than once, You might live in Montana.

If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching, You might live in Montana.

If you see people wearing hunting clothes at social events, You might live in Montana.

If you've installed security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked, You might live in Montana.

If the largest traffic jam in your town centers around a High School basketball game, You might live in Montana.

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them, You might live in Montana.

If there are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Wal-Mart at any given time, You might live in Montana.

If there are more people at work on Christmas Eve Day than on opening deer rifle season, You might live in Montana.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, You might live in Montana.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, You might live in Montana.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, You might live in Montana.

If you can identify a southern or eastern accent, You might Live in Montana.

If you consider Red Lodge exotic, You might live in Montana.

If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your cottonwood, You might live in Montana.

If finding your misplaced car keys involves looking in the Ignition, You might live in Montana.

If you find 0 degrees a little chilly, You might live in Montana.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am so disorganized!! I have been trying to change that, and have made good strides over the past year, but still struggle quit a bit.

Things missing in my house right now:
1)My wedding ring!!! AAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH

2)My cell phone

3)My car charger for my cell phone

That is all that pops into the top of my head...but it is enough. I just got my new wedding ring last Christmas Eve...didn't even make it a year. Do you think I have insured it yet, NO. If you are a praying person, please pray I find it. Thanks!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Here it is: the ole temperature gauge in my car again - can you believe the guts on that thing, registering below zero again? BBBBUUUUURRRR it was cold last night. I don't know if today will even get above zero!! The first year we moved to Montana from Texas, it was 1998, there was a 2 week span that stayed below zero. We were amazed and so excited about it then. Somehow over the past 10 years it has lost its thrill for me. The bitter cold I mean. The kind of cold that hurts to breath too deeply, the kind of cold that my eyes and the inside of my nose feel like they are freezing after a minute or two. It is so cold it stings any exposed area of skin.

The other day it got up to 8 degrees and we were all running into Target without coats, it felt so warm. Now, this I will never understand, but after it has been below zero for a period of time and then gets above zero, it feels almost balmy!! It is craziness I tell you.

I just looked at the weather forecast for the week. We are suppose to get warmer weather later on - YEA!! It is suppose to snow on Monday and then Christmas Day!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, snow I can handle. I LOVE to be home when it is snowing. Just to look outside and watch it falling while I am snug in my house. Snow on Christmas, there is no better present than that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Creepy Santas

Santa can be creepy. Here is proof. I like that Santa at least looks like he is jovial about it all!

I hope her parents got her therapy after this, I think she probably needed it.

Love how sweet the other two look, she must be the non compliant child at their house!! :)

Look!! NO hands!!

This guy wins the creepiest Santa award, I wouldn't want to sit on his lap either...not that I have ever gone around sitting on the laps of strange men or anything....

This is "Surprise Santa" or maybe he had too much Botox??

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Wishes

I have some Christmas wishes. I hope this Christmas I can remember those that are cold and hungry, and not complain about anything having to do with my house or food. Sometimes I just complain about the silliest little things - honestly, I can act like a spoiled brat.

I hope this Christmas for peace on earth beginning right here in our house. I don't really mean no conflict at all, because that is unrealistic. I do hope that each one of us can have a voice about what feels important to us, but do it in a respective way of each other. When we do disagree, I pray we can find resolution that feels safe for each involved.

I hope this Christmas we find true contentment, not in material things, but in the things that can't even be seen, like Joy, fun, hope, and especially love. I pray that all those I love will have everything they need.

I guess most of all, in the next week I don't want to get all wrapped up in the things that are trivial. I want to not let myself forget what is important to me, which is the people in my life, not the details. Speaking of, you, YES - YOU reading this right now. You are a blessing to me. I feel so honored to have you in my life.

Merry one week until the big day!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


This is what my car temperature gauge was reading about an hour ago when I finally made it home. Today was a marathon shopping day, since I had not even began my Christmas shopping. Whew!!! We shopped for 9 hours straight, but we are ALMOST finished totally!!!!! YEA!!!

I need to clarify something. My dear friend, Friar, mentioned in a comment that he thought I liked snow storms. I DO like snowstorms. I LOVE the snow. I do not enjoy temperatures that kill people. Growing up in Texas - I always dreaded that August hot that people did actually die in it. Now, being in Montana, I dread the negative temperatures, so low that people die in it. I don't know, when I think of dying, freezing to death is not real high on my list of preferred ways to go. I am just a wimp like that I suppose. :)

I think it is crazy that it can be sunny and stay below zero all day. The warmest it ever got was negative 4 and the sun was out all day. I understand that the clouds actually can make it warmer and blah blah blah...but it still just doesn't make sense in my pea little brain. When I am in my house and look outside at a sunny sky that is so bright it is blinding, I don't expect to walk outside and feel my eyeballs begin to freeze. Call me a Crazy Texan at heart, but folks, that just don't seem normal to me!!!

I hear it is suppose to get colder by Thursday. Oh boy, me and my eyeballs can't wait.

Holiday Eating Tips


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet
table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots,
leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot
find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has
10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an
eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me.
Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy.
Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed
potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or
whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car
with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control
your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other
people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's.
You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the
time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table
while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes.
If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple , Pumpkin , Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or
if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have
three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory
celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or
get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips;
start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We are suppose to get record low temps. I hope they are wrong, but they are claiming it will get negative fifteen this weekend!! I think the high on Sunday is suppose to be under ten degrees. We are also suppose to get up to 12 inches of snow.

Remember that we have been having record high temps? I guess winter decided to show up after all, and in a BIG way!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nakedly Funny

Why is it nakedness seems funny? Maybe I just have a sick sense of humor, but I think these are hilarious!

Give Away!

My buddy Shelley is doing another give away!! YEA!!

check it out here:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grateful and HO HO HO!!

Some days my gratitude of health and wellness feel overwhelming. Today is one of those days. My gratitude for my life literally feels like it is swelling from deep inside of me and feels like it is all consuming.

It was only three Christmases ago that my kids decorated the tree alone because I could not get out of bed and Sean was not home. The thought of them doing that alone breaks my heart. I can just picture my precious Reagan - taking charge, putting on the Christmas music and making everything wonderful for her brother and sister. So much responsibility for a little girl to carry.

Then last Christmas Sean and I were living together again after a separation and trying to figure out where we stood. It was a hard time. Just recently I started thinking about that. When we first kissed, or held hands. It all felt so awkward and unsure, just like in a new relationship, only harder. Harder because we wanted it to work so badly, but were both carrying around hurts and pain and were scared of being hurt again.

So, today I am grateful. Grateful that as a family we decorated our tree and our house. Grateful that I am so busy with my life I barely get enough time to sleep in the bed that I used to be in 90% of my time. Grateful that although my marriage is not perfect, it is mending. We are loving each other and able to communicate in a way that we never could before.

I am grateful. Grateful that my heart is full. It seemed empty for far too long.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Poem for Advent

"First Coming" by Madeleine L'Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he cameto a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To world like ours, of anguished shamehe came,
and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Monday, December 8, 2008


When I say "sitting" I do not actually mean that I have been sitting. In fact there was actually very little sitting going on - why do we call it sitting anyway. It should be called running your rear end off. This is Lizzie with Eli - he is my friend's dog and we have been dog sitting him for 6 days. Lizzie is actually singing him to sleep. He is crate trained and sleeps in that thing. Which is good, because 90% of the time he is not in the crate, he is smelling Chica's butt, and frankly, she is growing weary of it!!

So, we have been dog sitting and then actually kid sitting as well. This is Sean, Lizzie and Abigail. She is three. When I told her mom I would babysit, I never actually looked at the calender and noticed that I would also have Eli.

This is Abigail and Lizzie loving on Chica - doesn't she look thrilled??

This is Aiden, Abigail's 2 year old brother. Her is another reason to check your calender when you commit to do something. Friday night Jake played piano at the festival of lights in Belgrade, MT. I was there, but didn't get to see too much of it...this cute smiling face - I didn't see it much either, cuz I was chasing him around and mostly just saw the back of his head.

I think this shot is very sweet. Lizzie is always begging for a baby brother or sister. After these guys left the other night I asked her if she still wanted one. I just knew for sure the reality of what little ones in the house meant would be working in my favor...well, she is still begging for siblings. She will not be getting any.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Police Reports

Our paper's police reports are often hilarious!! Well, guess what, my fellow bloggers? You can now follow the funniest ones in a blog! I just found this and will be getting my laugh for the day with someone else doing all the work - instead of weeding through the paper - I will just click here - You should check it out!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


This is my dear, sweet Mama. Yesterday we ran around all day and then I had choir rehearsal last night at church. She came along and watched Lizzie (playing in the background). She was exhausted apparently, because she was sleeping mostly.
My mom has a heart of gold. She can not stand to see anyone hurting or in need. If she has any means to help them, she will. I worry about her sometimes because there are people that figure this out about her and take advantage of it. I also admire her a great deal. She and my dad's divorce will be final this month after a few years of separation. They were married almost 44 years. She has had a lot of emotional ups and downs over the years, but she always lands with her feet on the ground and keeps moving forward. I know she will this time as well.
When I was growing up, it was this lady that instilled in my that I had value. When my dad picked on me and put me down, she always came in a picked up the pieces. I always felt safe wrapped in her arms, and I still do today. She always helped me to follow my dreams and taught me that I could do anything I desired. I am very grateful that she believed in me at times when I did not believe in myself. After all, isn't that what mamas are for?
I love my mom!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Well, my dad is gone back to Texas. He left early this morning. I had a few wishes before he came - which you might remember. I can now honestly say:

It was not as bad as I expected!! He really just mostly ignored me, which is a good thing, much easier than being under his critical eye. I would be lying if I didn't say there was a small amount of pain that he has still never mentioned or acknowledged my birthday even after attending a surprise party!! But hey - it is par for the course.

I handled things pretty well and Look how far I have come. I do feel that wish came true as well. All those years of therapy and $ was worth it!!

I won't have to do this again for a long while. That is probably true, but even if I did have to do it again soon - I know it would be OK.

Thanks for all your kind words, suggestions, and wishes!! I appreciated every one of them. So, here I am on the other side feeling glad it is over, but feeling pretty confident in who I am as a person. I really could not ask for much more than that.

Monday, December 1, 2008


My birthday was over a week ago - so I was suspecting NOTHING when I arrived at the restuarant and was taken to the back room!!! NOTHING - I missed all the cues. Oh well, lots of the people I love and care about were in that room and yelled - SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!! What a blast! I got some great gag gifts as well. It was fun for sure.