Saturday, February 26, 2011


My last post was sloppy. I got tired and the opposite of witty. I hate deleting posts, so instead I decided to write a rebuttal that said you should probably ignore that post. It doesn't convey my true message but I don't really have to time or brainpower right now to accomplish that. So... please disregard. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

i'm a professional

How very haughty of me to make such a statement! But it's true... I'm a professional at dealing with stress. I was born and bred to take everything that's thrown at me and just to keep on keepin' on. It is my nature to just do it. And so, I want to offer a tidbit of my infinite wisdom: it is NEVER as bad as it seems. Period. If you could just look at your situation in the context of the rest of the world, I'm going to say 99.999999999999...% of the time, someone has more stress, more heartache, more "bad luck." (On a side note, I think luck is a complete myth, but I'll shy away from that topic for tonight.) I find myself wigging out at the amount of schoolwork I've got to accomplish before Spring Break and for that matter, before the end of the semester. And then you pile on the INSANE rising gas prices, which are truly screwing up my budget. And most significantly, consider that my husband's family (and then in turn me) is dealing with an excruciating amount of loss with Nana's (and likely very soon her husband's) passing. And....and....and....BUT then I consider that even I have lived with harder times. And I KNOW I can name at least 30 other people off the top of my head, who have a much more stressful life. So, listen, don't stress! Trust me, I'm a professional.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

i love pictures

At the suggestion of one of my awesome followers, I decided to give everyone a little slice of my humble knowledge about Nana Graves. I doubt very much that this will be in any sort of rational order or that I'll do her any justice, but I like the idea of putting some of my memories to "paper" since I don't have any photos to help me out. A little background about Nana: she was raised in a small Georgia town. She was married for nearly 53 years to a lifetime Army man and traveled the world beside him, eventually bringing along three daughters for the ride. She instilled in those women a strong faith and an amazing ability to love. She adopted all of her sons-in-law easily into her family and loved them generously as well. God gave her eight grandchildren, one granddaughter-in-law, and a great-granddaughter. She loved us all more than I think we can ever appreciate. But to be honest, she just loved and loved and loved people, all people. It was what she did. She cared for them. She prayed for them. She fixed the problem if there was anyway that she could. And if she couldn't, she would pray that someone could. I have never met someone so generous with her resources. She taught classes for Weight Watchers. She and her husband were very active with the Gideons. She sponsored missionaries. She let missionaries stay in her home. She invited anyone and everyone over for something as simple as President's Day, if that meant she could feed them and let them swim in her pool and that she got an opportunity to show them love and kindness. She was just so generous! I've never known anyone before that the old saying "they'd give you the shirt off their own back," applied to, until I met her. She took the time and spent the money to bring all of our family (all 18+ of us) together for a family vacation to Hilton Head Island each summer. She was thoughtful. She remembered everyone's birthdays and anniversaries. I loved sharing my birthday with her and Sharon (one of my aunts-in-law) every year.

This afternoon at the funeral home, there was a disc of photos from throughout her life. I love pictures. Just to add in another cliche, they really do say a thousand words. Have you ever noticed how many simple memories erupt from a single photo? I witnessed so many of her important moments through her photos tonight... but also so many that were at one point probably so insignificant. There was a photo of Nana with one of her granddaughters and they were in the PJs, probably the morning after a sleepover at Nana's house and it just struck me that at the time that picture was taken, a memory for Kelsey was made. She will always have that simple picture to commemorate the many times she had a sleepover at Nana's house. It can be her reminder for the one night or it can conjure a memory of fifty different nights. That makes me happy. It makes me happy that Nana truly lived her life and that not one of us wonders where she is or how much she cared. It couldn't be more clear.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I've started and deleted and restarted this post about twenty times. I sit here with tears in my eyes and in a state of disbelief. All these human emotions of love and sadness and guilt and doubt and a million more keep flooding my mind. You see one of the greatest women I've ever had the privilege to know died this afternoon and though she's been sick for months and was given a life expectancy of 6-12 months, it is just too hard to believe. No amount of time can prepare you. She was only part of my life for the past five years but I'm just in shock that she's actually gone. I feel strange that it's my husband's grandmother and that I'm the one who has been crying all evening. I know men typically react differently than women and I think he just hasn't accepted it yet either. Unfortunately, I feel like I will be imposing on their family at the funeral home when I am sobbing. She wasn't mine to lose and yet at the same time I have lost her. She was gracious and generous and loving, unlike anyone I've ever known. Rarely do I conduct myself so sorrowfully but today I feel broken by her death. I cannot imagine the world we live in without her there. But as one of her daughter's so perfectly worded it: "At least she gave us the gift of never doubting where she is now." I'm not mad at God, I just selfishly wish we had more time with her.

<>< Cass

Monday, February 14, 2011

my baby made my heart melt

Happy Valentine's Day friends! Today was beautiful here in Chattanooga and we took advantage of it. My friend Laura and I took our girls to the TN Aquarium (Lucy's first trip) and then had lunch. The kiddos were so stinkin cute with all their pink and they loved the trip. I finally put Lucy's hair into pigtails again (since the last attempt a month or two ago was pretty sad) and they completed her cuteness. It is always so much fun when I get to hang out with the women from my mommy group. We all mesh so well, our children all adore each other, and a good time is had by all. And in keeping with the festivities of Valentine's Day, my darling girl told me she loved me today... for the very first time. I love her so much and she melts my heart. It was so clear and sweet when she said it. Of course, I spent a large chunk of the rest of the day trying to inspire her to utter the words again, but to no avail. I don't care! She said it once, and that's good enough for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

guilty until proven innocent

I hate when people lie to me. And I hate when I make plans with people and they cancel regularly. I always used to think that it meant that a) I wasn't a priority in their life or b) they were lying. Now in my defense, I said people that REGULARLY canceled on me. I know that life happens sometimes but I never really understood until I had a child. Now I feel like the flake. And now I see how wrongly I judged those others. Well, in all fairness, I probably misjudged about half of them. This year (yes I know, we're only forty days in), we have had an array of crazy and unlikely things take place... which forced me to cancel various playdates, lunches, and dinners. The worst part is that I feel guilty. I feel bad for being quick to judge others and I feel bad for having to cancel on my friends. I hope they all understand (since most of them have children too). The pattern for this year thus far makes me want to not make any plans, so as not to disappoint others.

Monday, February 7, 2011

i can't hear you

"I can't hear you." This has been the over-used phrase of the day. Unfortunately, I have lost my voice. The illness I mentioned in my last post has remained mild for me. There has been no fever or sore throat. But last night after the Super Bowl, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that I was getting a little squeaky and that my voice was failing every few words. I rarely lose my voice. But I awoke this morning without it. Lucy thinks I'm playing with her and she replies in whispers most of the time. It's really pretty cute. But when she's about to do something I really don't want her to, the absence of a stern "NO" makes her think she can go right ahead. I also made the mistake of answering the phone a few times. Thankfully it was just hubby and he can say "I can't hear you."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a bunch of sicklings

Hopefully, this won't be too insulting to everyone, but to be honest, I'm not one to do something out of duty. Maybe because my relationship with my own family is lacking or maybe because I've always kind of done what I wanted to. Regardless, I think it's silly to do anything because someone else makes you feel like you should or even that you owe them. I can't help myself, I'm a fiercely independent person. However, this evening I dressed up my family and we met hubby's family to have pictures made. The reason the whole "duty" thing comes into play, is the fact that Lucy and I are sick. It's nothing too terrible, just that a faucet replaced our noses and we feel run down. And I HATE when people are sick and in public. It makes me want to spray them with Lysol and tell them to go home and keep the sick there. But we went, because it was important to my husband, to his mother, and to the rest of the family. And I have to brag about Lucy: no one could even tell she was sick. She was cooperative, happy, and playful. She made me look like a liar. But praise the Lord that it all worked out and we got some awesome photos. I'm happy that even though I went into this kicking and screaming (ok, mostly bitching and moaning), it turned out exceptionally better than I planned. And maybe I learned something about doing what others want me to, not just being Miss Independent.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

hopefully the last of it

I hope that this is the last post I make about my frustrations with money, but I'm not making any promises. And for that matter, it just isn't likely. :)

When I met my wonderful husband, he had a nice little cushion of money. He'd been living at home most all of his 20 years (wow, I can't believe I knew him before he was legal, ha!). He never spent a penny, not because he was a tightwad, but because he didn't have to. He liked his parents and they took good care of him financially. Additionally, his grandmother's generosity had helped. Enter Cassie. Cassie had been struggling financially since she was 17 and moved out of her parents home. She felt the need to maintain her independence and dig herself into debt, just to "make it" on her own. I didn't do EVERYTHING wrong. I was never late on my rent or my utilities, and I bought both of my cars by paying cash for them (and stayed up to date on my insurance). I just never quite grasped that just because someone offered me a credit card, didn't mean I had to take it. Or use it for that matter. Anyway, I walked into our marriage with about $8000 in debt and I quickly brought him down to my level. When we wanted to get married and didn't have the money for a wedding, we did everything ourselves and put it on the credit card. When he didn't have enough money for his fancy private college, he got student loans. When we didn't have enough money to pay for a new car that I desperately needed, we put a pathetic $500 down and got yet another loan.

Yesterday I was doing the budget for February and it hurt to see the numbers. We DO NOT live an outrageous lifestyle, to say the least. And I have definitely learned a lot about the hows and whys of money. It just makes me so mad at myself for not being smarter earlier. We are not struggling, not even but, we aren't paying off our debts as quickly as I would like. And it is very frustrating to feel as though I'm responsible for getting us into this mess. On the bright side, the budget for has a spot for something like ten different debts (it's the Financial Peace University form) and we only have two now. I love doing the budget, but I just hate money...

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