Sunday, December 15, 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

What?  Who me?  You're kidding.  This is such an honor.

There you go.  There's my obligatory shocked and humbled response to being nominated as a Versatile Blogger.  Perhaps I would be more shocked or more honored if this nomination didn't come from my Bestie, if my blog was older, than say, a month old or if this was a real nomination for a real award for being awesome.

Don't get me wrong, dearest, sweetest, bestest Mia would have been in a hot pot of water had she not nominated me for this award ( if you're nominated you have to nominate 7 more blogs--which is insanity to me and proof that this is not a real award and just some not-so-sneaky way of trying to get people to read more blogs because if it were a real award with a real red carpet there would be no way people would be adding to the nomination pool.) because I'm her Bestie and I have a blog.  Duh.  And not to spoil anything for anyone but I will, in turn, nominate her right back when I do the nominate-7-blogs-that-changed-your-life thingy at the end.

I don't know who is doing the judging, picking or awarding but I can bet I'm already out of the running just for making fun of the award in the first paragraph.

One of the fun things about this not-a-real-award is that in your "acceptance" (I know) you have to write/confess 7 things about yourself.  Again, I think this is just a not-so-subtle way for bloggers to try and get dirt on other bloggers so they have something to use against them if bloggers ever unite and elect a president.  I'll play along because I was in need of a writing prompt anyway and because Mia is making me.

1) I was not raised to be the bleeding heart Democrat I am today.  In fact, when I threw a big John Kerry nomination party and had all my like minded friends over for 2 Buck Chuck and Lil' Smokies fancy wine and catered hors d' oeuvres my Mom actually said to me, and she was not kidding, "I didn't raise you to be a Democrat."  Its true, she didn't, but she did teach me to think for myself.  I clearly remember watching Bill Clinton accept the 1992 nomination for President and being completely awestruck by his speech.  I was so inspired, "We meet at a special time in history, you and I.  The Cold War is over.  Soviet communism has collapsed and our values--freedom, democracy, individual rights, free enterprise--they have triumphed all over the world.  And yet, just as we have won the Cold War abroad, we are losing the battles for economic opportunity and social justice here at home.  Now that we have changed the world, its time to change America."  That night, in the living room of my mother's house, somewhere in my 16 year old heart the seeds of my political beliefs took hold and I haven't looked back since and to quote one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, I am now "an old, yellow dog democrat--which means I'd rather vote for an old, yellow dog than a Republican."

2) I don't eat cold cheese.  The exception to that is that I will eat cold cheese once it has been melted.  For example, cold pizza.  And while we're on the subject of cold pizza--go ahead and throw a turd on it because I freaking love cold pizza and I'll eat it with a turd on it.  I'll eat it cold and straight out of the fridge, I'll eat it cold out of the box after its sat on the counter too long.  I just don't care.  I love me some cold pizza.  Do not, however, ever try serving me crackers with cold cheese on them, a sandwich with cold cheese on it or just a hunk of cold cheese.  Gross.  Throw that crap on some chips and melt it already; that is why God gave us microwaves.  Here's a free one for you: I also don't eat fruit pies.  Fruit pies are just cutting a little too close for my taste to healthy and pies shouldn't be healthy.

3) Country music makes me really nostalgic. There is something so wonderfully depressing about a really good country song.  I was born and raised in Montana where there is no shortage of country music. Coupled with that, as a child, I spent a lot of time with my Mom's brother who was a real-life cowboy who drove a truck, drank beer and rode a horse.  Uncle George listened to the really good stuff: Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Conway Twitty...oh be still my heart...George Jones. Now that right there is some country music royalty and there is nothing like one of their songs to get me feeling all melancholy and mournful.  Come on, "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones.  Stop. Stop right there and get me a kleenex because I'm gonna need it.  Follow it up with some of Willie's, "Always On My Mind" and well, I'm just done.  Done.  I'm remembering some boy who broke my heart in high school and driving to the cabin with Uncle George listening to "Smoky Mountain Rain" by Ronnie Milsap.  Sigh.

4) I haven't been able to write a darn thing.  I started listening to my "Country Croonin'" playlist on Spotify and I'm just sitting here all teary eyed and nostalgic.  For the love.  Alabama's "Forever's As Far As I'll Go"  I think I'm gonna take a break and go make Hot Jeff a mixed tape...

4) I have Type II diabetes.  I was diagnosed in June of 2012.  It didn't come as a huge surprise as I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies and I have a family history of diabetes.  And while it wasn't a surprise it was a shock.  I think what was even more shocking than the diagnosis was how ashamed I was of it.  At first I only told my very closest family members, Hot Jeff, my Mom, Hot Jeff's parents, Hot Jeff's sister and 2 of my closest friends, Mia & Maryanne.  I was embarrassed as if something I had done or not done had caused the disease.  Their love and support allowed me to open up and be more forthcoming to others. Actually writing it on this blog is a huge step for me because there are still close friends and beloved family members who I haven't shared the news with.  I'm at a place now that I don't want to try and be someone I'm not.  I struggle with my weight.  I have Type II diabetes.  These are 2 separate things but in my mind I haven't been able to separate them until recently and so I was embarrassed and ashamed, feeling if I were "skinny" I wouldn't be diabetic.  Not true.  There are lots of overweight people that don't have diabetes and there are lots of skinny people who do and while weight plays a large part of diabetic care it is neither the cause nor the cure.  I have a person in my life whom, when she found out about my diabetes, tried to make weight the issue. Instead of motivating me to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle it broke my heart, left me feeling betrayed, ashamed and has taken me months and months of work to get over.  You cannot take a complex disease like diabetes and make it about one risk factor in your life.  Now that I've realized that truth I am no longer ashamed of my disease but actually proud of how I'm defying it.  Most days I'm actually thankful for the diagnosis because it has made me get serious about my health and stop acting and eating like I'm 22.

My doctor is a rock star.  He's my biggest fan and cheerleader and my diabetes is pretty much no big woop (seriously, has it been a decade since you've heard someone say 'no big woop'?).  I had an "incident" this last month where I indulged too much on the sugar treats when the Things and I discovered Gingerbread Oreos and we ate the whole bag in an afternoon.  Other than that I keep my numbers under control by diet, exercise (ok, so exercise is supposed to play a factor) and the smallest dose available of a diabetic medicine called Metformin.  And really, the whole Gingerbread Oreo thing wasn't my fault because seriously, what is in those things?  Cocaine?  Eat them or grind them up and snort them--whatever--just get in my belly.

5) Holy crap.  Am I only on 5?  I either need to shorten these up or make a Part 2.  My friend Traci and I have been best friends since the 4th grade/9 years old.  I'll do the math for you: that is 28 years my friends. 28 years.  Her little brother was 1 when we met and he's all grown up now and has a job and lives in Washington.  Whenever Tommy hits a milestone, Traci and I get all sentimental about how long we've been friends, the passage of time and how normal Tommy turned out after all the crazy-ass stuff we did to him when we were babysitting him.

6) I am not a dog person.  I am, however, freaky about animals being abused or getting hurt and will not watch animal movies for fear that there will be a sad part in them.  News stories and articles in the paper about animals being neglected or such--I stay completely away from them.  That stuff messes me up for days and I can't get it out of my mind.  Back to dogs.  Not a dog person.  Dogs kind of gross me out.  They are all slobbery and always trying to sniff your crotch and...well, I guess I don't have any other reasons but those seem good enough for me.  The exception to this is puppies because oh my heavens how cute are puppies and Casey, my 2 year old Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix (heavy emphasis on the "mix" because we rescued her from the Humane Society and there's no telling how much neighbor dog she has in her pedigree). Casey is named after the famed Oregon State baseball coach, Pat Casey.  If I had my druthers I would have named her Daisy or something else really girly but Hot Jeff said the only way we were keeping her was if he could name her.  I totally should have called his bluff because there was NO WAY he was not going to let us keep her (we got her while he was away on a fishing trip--oops) because the Things and I were so bonkers crazy in love with her but oh well.  She's Casey.

Folks, I'm so nutty about this dog.  She's like a little baby that I can just pack around and snuggle all the time.  I'm her favorite of the 4 of us and she follows me around and always sits by me.  She sleeps with Hot Jeff and me (of course she does) and sometimes I go all ugly cry just thinking about her getting old and dying. I finally understand why people are so weird about their dogs and now I find myself pinning random pictures of cute dogs (mostly puppies) on Pinterest.  The Things have totally stopped asking me if I like her better than them because they just know I am going to say 'yes' without even BATTING AN EYE.

7) Oh my gosh, for a girl who couldn't think of anything to write I am now at a point I don't know which of my things to write about and which ones to leave for another blog post.  You already know I invented Elf on the Shelf... I'll tell you about how I got "saved" as a kid only to really fall in love with Jesus many, many years later.

When I was 9 my Mom came to know Christ as her Savior and our lives completely changed (I'm understating but you get the idea).  We started attending a Southern Baptist Church where the Pastor preached fire and brimstone.  Grace wasn't a part of the equation, any equation, and you got "saved" by walking the aisle during an alter call and asking Jesus to forgive your sins, all your many, many sins.  Getting "saved" was simply that: saved from hell.  So one Sunday after church I asked Pastor Willis if he would pray with me so that I could ask Jesus into my heart so that if I died I wouldn't go to hell.  Fear.  Fear drove me right into the arms of Jesus.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Jesus did save me that day and I have no doubt that had I walked out that door and been run over by a bus I would have gone to Heaven.  Here's the deal though, I'm so glad I didn't because I would have gone to Heaven that day and met Jesus thinking He was only big enough to save me from Hell.  I would have never been able to get to know Him like I do now; I wouldn't be in love with Him like I am now.  Now I know He's big enough to transform.  He's big enough to heal.  He's big enough to make Himself small and come to earth to walk among us.  He's so much more than a Savior from Hell.

Jesus isn't only my Savior; He's my Redeemer.  He has taken this life of mine and redeemed it for His glory. He has made me new, not just Christian talk new but like NEW!  I have new purpose, new desires and yes, a new destiny but Jesus didn't just save me from Hell, He purposed me for Heaven.

I'm no where near close to having it all together.  I am such a work in progress and I have to much to learn about how to love and live like Jesus.  Its getting late and I'm starting to jumble my words so I'll leave it with this: there is this great song by Casting Crowns and it sums up how Jesus has changed my life and how He's changing my heart to look like more like His.

Jesus Friend of sinners we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to
Jesus friend of sinners the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours
Jesus friend of sinners the one who's writing in the sand
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of thieves
Let the memory of Your mercy bring your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we
judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and love like
You did
Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours

Ok, now you've read my 7 facts.  Well I'm assuming you read my 7 facts but I'm sure there's a very good chance you got bored after 1 and have now just scrolled to the bottom to see who I'm nominating as my 7 favorite blogs.  Here's the truth though, in order to do that I fee like I need to provide links and that just takes so much effort and Hot Jeff is sitting here looking at me with dreamy eyes and wanting to watch "How I Met Your Mother" and friends, that's just not something I can turn down.  So check back later and I'll list my all time, life changing, favorite read blogs (eye roll).

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