Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today marks the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. I always thought she was a batty old lady but I still loved her very much. Of all my grandparents, she was the most present in my life so her death affected me more than others would or will. That isn't to say she meant more to me or that I loved her more than my other grandparents, her death just cut me a little deeper.

When I was 8, after my parents divorced, my mom moved me & my two brothers from Pensacola, FL to Waco, TX & we lived with my grandma for a couple of years. This is odd because she was my dad's mom. So we were living with my mom's ex-MIL. If I remember correctly, we lived with her until I started middle school, when we moved not too far away to some apartments on Hawthorne Dr. At some point, shortly after I started middle school & my dad & other mom returned to the states (they were stationed in Japan up until then), my grandma moved to MD to live with my parents & I only saw her a couple times a year when I went to visit.

Unfortunately I was living with her just as I started going through puberty & she thought it was okay to pinch my newly developing boobs. This memory still makes me cringe & feel a little queasy.

At 16 I moved to MD to live with my dad & other mom & thus, shared a home with my grandmother again. My boobs were completely developed at this time, but she still thought it was funny to pinch them. She mostly stayed in her room but would come out to either go to the bathroom or to complain about something. No one could hardly ever do anything right; her way was always better. Hmm. Sounds like a couple other people I know....

When Maria moved in with us a couple years later, just after high school, we girls had to use the downstairs bathroom since my grandmother used that one. In case she had to rush in to use the bathroom. Which almost always happened as one of us were in the shower. "I need to use the pot!" she would shout as she barged in there. Then she would get all spiritual "on the pot" & start saying things like, "Oh dear Jesus! Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! Help me LORD!" What tha?????? -- It was horrid at the time, but now that it's nearly a decade later, I laugh about it.

One time my mom had just steam cleaned the carpets & asked my grandma to stay in her room until they dried. My grandma couldn't wait so she tied plastic grocery bags around her feet so she could walk on the floor. The picture in my head is hilarious!

The woman was a living, walking, breathing comedy. The last time I saw her was January 5th, I believe it was, when she was in the hospital due to her pneumonia & stuff. This was a few months after I had miscarried & a couple of weeks after I learned I was pregnant again. Since it was a pretty gloomy moment, I thought I'd try to make it cheerful by announcing my pregnancy to her. Aunt Roseanne, Toni & I were all sitting there with her & I said, "Grandma, I just want to let you know that I'm pregnant again." She smiles, closes her eyes & whispers, "Don't have another miscarriage." Aunt Roseanne & Toni gasped & were in wide-eyed shock. Me, I just laughed. "Okay Grandma, I'll see what I can do." She smiles at me again & nods her head. hahahaha -- that'll never cease to be funny.

About a month later, during the wake of her funeral, I saw 2 of my cousins, Jaime & Wendy, who I hadn't seen in a very long time. I started telling them about the miscarriage & the new pregnancy when they stopped me & said, "Oh yeah, we heard. Grandma wrote about it in her Christmas cards." What????? I mean, how do you bring something like that up in a Christmas card?

Front of card: "Unto us a child is born..."

Inside of card, Grandma writes: "Hey, speaking of children being born, your cousin Amanda had a miscarriage. Merry Christmas! Love, Grandma"

Like I said, a batty old lady. A batty old lady who will always hold a special place in my heart. Miss you Grandma.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Best Complaint Letter Ever

I know I already Twittered this but it's too freaking funny! Jason & I couldn't stop laughing throughout the entire thing. My sides started hurting! I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard. Whooo-wheee!

Is This Indicative of His Future Career??

Solomon has been romping around naked lately. He has decided he wants nothing more to do with clothes & takes them off as fast as I put them on him. Jason said this morning, "Maybe he's going to be a stripper when he grows up." Look out, Chippendales!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Sometimes my blogs are solely for me so that I may remember things. A journal of sorts. Today's entry is one of those times.

This morning I was carrying a large stack of board games upstairs (we played the other night when the Morenos spent the night) & Solomon says to me, "Careful Mommy!" It made me smile.

I'm amazed at how quickly his verbal skills are developing now compared to even a month ago. I remember last year thinking that he was going to struggle in that department. Boy did he prove me wrong! He says things that make me smile all the time. He's cute when he says, "Oh, gosh!" & "Aw, man!" When he hurts himself he says, "I hurt you! I hurt you!" (& yes he often says the same thing twice in a row.) He calls chicken "kicken" & tickle "kickle." Lightening McQueen from Cars is simply "Queen" -- "Waawatch Queen! Waawatch Queen!" Or "Wedgie Tales" hahaha! That cracks me up. "Queeb up" = Clean up.

Sometimes he tells us something is wrong to do. For instance, "No throw it! No throw it!" But then he throws it anyway. Or, "No kiss it! No kiss it!" & then he kisses our feet anyway. Gross! What is with this kid & feet?? It really bothers us. (I think he sees me kiss Charlotte's feet & now thinks this is acceptible behavior -- no matter how much we try to convince him otherwise.) What makes his "No" statements even better is that he waves a scolding finger at us. I would laugh at this but he usually does something immediately after the statement which really pisses me off. Like throwing food or a hard, rubber bouncy ball.

His smile melts my heart & his laugh is deep & sincere. So full of life. You can't help but laugh right along with him... even if it is because he spit his milk out all over him & his sister.

(I hate this picture of me, but I love this picture of us.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting Pleasure From Another's Pain

I really should not find pleasure in this news. It's from a month ago, but it still made me smile. The 39 cent thing made me laugh out loud.... literally.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taming the Beast

I have an anger problem. That should come as no surprise to those of you who know me. God has convicted me though (has been for years, but I'm pretty resistant) & He is slowly changing my heart. It's painful & less than enjoyable. But my desire is to live my life such that it points to Christ & in order to do that I have to submit myself wholly to Him.


I find much comfort & strength in the Word & I want to share with you a few passages to which God has directed me. I know I've been quoting the Bible a lot lately, but, you know, it ain't the Living Word for nothing.
  • Psalm 4:4 -- In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
  • Psalm 37:8 -- Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
  • Psalm 86:15 -- But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
  • Proverbs 15:1 -- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • Proverbs 29:11 -- A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
  • Ecclesiastes 10:4b -- calmness can lay great errors to rest.
  • I Corinthians 13:4-8 -- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
  • Ephesians 4:26-27,30-32 -- "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. [30]And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
  • Colossians 3:7-8,12-14 -- You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. [12]Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
  • James 1:19-21 -- My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
So there you have it folks. Anger in & of itself isn't really the problem, it's OK to be mad sometimes.... it's the sinning in that anger that God wants us to steer clear of.

I know this journey of anger recovery is going to be on a long, rocky road. It's gonna take time & it's gonna take practice. I need my brothers & sisters in Christ to help hold me accountable & gently, lovingly remind me as needed of my goal. I have to work hard to undo nearly 27 years of habitual behavior. Fortunately, my LORD is for me & I cannot fail. Praise be to God.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

I dunno why I've been thinking so much about death lately (more than usual, anyway). Maybe it's because we're in the wake of the anniversaries of several deaths: Josh, Jeremy, & my grandma (there are many more but these were the most significant to me).

My biggest fear is losing those closest to me, who I love most, but I do not fear death for myself. I guess it's actually kinda selfish... I don't want to live without them but I'm okay leaving them behind. Well, that's not entirely true. When I think about the possibility of leaving my husband & my kids behind while they are young it wrecks my heart & soul. I don't want to die anytime soon, but I am not afraid to do so. Sometimes, as days go by, I think, "I'm another day closer to being with my LORD." How can you be scared or sad when faced with that reality?? It's such a wonderful truth! I can't even begin to describe the joy I feel in my heart when I anticipate meeting Christ face to face.

Okay, I'm not being totally honest here again. There is something more frightening still than simply losing a loved one. Losing a loved one who doesn't know Christ. As I grow in my relationship with Him & come to know Him better, I'm baffled that there are people who are not as compelled by Christ as I am. My desire is for all of my loved ones (but this desire is certainly not limited to my loved ones!) to know Jesus & the power of His Love. If a person would take the time to investigate, it is impossible to not find Christ because all truth is God's truth. All roads following truth lead to Him. To quote my all-time favorite band (yes, again!), mewithoutYou, "I used to wonder where You are - these days I can't find where You're not!"

For the person who is in relationship with the LORD, death is nothing to fear. "Death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life," Amos Traver. I Corinthians 15 is an awesome passage on the Ressurection & toward the end, in verse 55, Paul quotes Hosea 13:14 & sort of taunts death (see blog title). People, God won, death is conquered! When my baby brother Josh died, I found comfort in another one of Paul's epistles, I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Do not grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. I have hope. Praise God that I have that hope.

I want to end my thoughts with one of my favorite worship songs which reminds me of the hope I have in Christ. May it stir up hope in you too:

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Catching Up!

Wow. It's been a while since I blogged... from Christmas until today we've been crazy busy as J's parents were in town. Christmas was pretty fun with Solomon this year (& I'm sure it'll be even MORE fun next year when he has a better grasp of what all's going on); he opened just about everyone's gifts & was delighted to do so. We had a nice, quiet family Christmas in the morning which I was so happy about. This was our first Christmas for just our own little family (not that I don't enjoy big Christmases with our families, but it's very special when you get to focus on your family alone). Here are a few pics from Christmas morning (I'll be posting more on FB later):

Solomon giving Charlotte her doll from Aunt Maria.

Solomon opening his AquaDoodle.

Solomon "helping" Daddy assemble his Sit-n-Spin.

Later J's parents arrived from MD & Jon & Molly came over for dinner.

Charlotte & Pop-pop.

Solomon & Vóvó.

Family photo with our sad, little Christmas tree behind us. (Please ignore my horrible hair -- I didn't style it very well that day. I promise it looks a lot better than this.)

A few days after Christmas we received word that Grandma Stagno, my FIL's mother, had passed away, so he left for Boston the next day for the funeral, leaving my MIL behind (he said he felt that it was too close to the anniversary of Jeremy's death for Jewel to handle going to the funeral & insisted that she stay). Ed seems to be coping with everything okay; Jason was never really close to her so it didn't affect us much, just felt bad for Ed. She was 95 so she had a nice, long life.

A week ago I discovered that I really do like football. I absolutely hated it prior to last Sunday.... so much so that I would not let Jason watch it. EVER. I know, I know... I'm a horrible wife. Guess he lucked out now. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Ravens crush their opponents, especially today (suck it, Dolphins!!). I'm even a little sad that I can't watch them play again until Saturday, & since we'll be in Vegas I'm not sure we'll get to catch that game. GO RAVENS!!!

Anyhoo, so as you all know, J & I were praying & deliberating during the holiday season to determine where we will move to next. Jason actually created a spreadsheet & made a mathematical calculation to assist us in the matter (I <3 my dork). The numbers have spoken &
we are moving here. I feel good about this decision & believe this is where we're supposed to be.

I guess that's all I have for now as far as updates go. Hope everyone had a very merry Xmas & a happy New Year!!