I don’t even like socks and there is no timeline for grief

We’ve made it to the middle of December.

December and the holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

I try.

I really try to be joyful and love the holidays but I just don’t.

The weather doesn’t help. I’m a summer girl. I like the sun and the warm. Bring on the warm. I don’t like socks and I have to wear them when it’s cold. Today it will be 80 degrees so flip flops it is.

The time changes and it’s dark so early and when it’s dark, I want to go to bed and who goes to be at 6:30?

December is Dads heaven month. I’ve been weepy and my sweet best friend Becky said to me a couple of weeks ago that while I might not feel grief, my body is telling me that the time is approaching to click over another year without Dad. 2 years is a long time and it seems like yesterday we were building things and he was rolling his eyes at me. We were having chicken wings at the local restaurant and playing with baby Jack who is now 2 1/2. I remind Jack when we see a picture of Dad but he will only remember being told of Papa PeeWee. He won’t know how much he was loved.

Grieving is not only for another person but for experiences that can no longer happen due to unforeseen circumstances.

I watched this sweet girl sing in church a few weeks ago. We used to sing together almost weekly.

Now we don’t.

As I sat and sang the sweet worship songs, tears flowed as I grieved what used to be.

The people that I miss.

Even if it’s the right thing to do, doesn’t not make it hard

Grieving is not being able to do the things you have always been able to do. We age. Our bodies don’t always cooperate and we grieve what “used to be.”

I spoke to Mom and her BFF Dee a few weeks ago and we talked about aging and how just because you are old doesn’t mean you don’t deserve respect. No one wants to be treated as if they are old. No one wants to be spoken to like you are incompetent or unable to make a decision. Aging isn’t always pretty and don’t you think the older folks know they are slower and maybe need a little help now and then.

Don’t forget they were your age once and one day you will be their age, if you are lucky.

Grieving sucks

Plain and simple

But it’s also a part of life that we have to go through. You can’t jump over it or hide under it. We must push through like nobody’s business and as we near the end of this month, I might not smile right away, but it will come.

I promise.

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What is bringing you joy?

Last night I attended a women’s event at a sweet friend home. It was festive with Christmas decorations and we celebrated friendships with no gifts and without having to bring a covered dish. Praise hands!

The topic of conversation came up in regards to Christmas hustle and bustle, decorating dilemmas and all around holiday stress.

I’m not joyful that others share in this months stresses but at least I’m not alone.

Last week I looked at the Christmas totes STILL sitting on the porch and I was over it. I loaded them back on the dolly and put them back in the garage. This year, Christmas decorations are not bringing me joy. Giving myself permission to put the away for 2019 gave me abundant joy.

My house has been getting on my last nerve.

I can just feel the dust bunnies waiting for me behind the chairs attached to the beautiful wood trim. The curtains who have been up for two years and not yet been washed. Why in the world does it bother me now? It’s two weeks before Christmas and I shouldn’t care. But I do and yesterday, I pulled down the curtains in one room, which requires a ladder for goodness sakes and washed and dried those bad boys. I pulled the furniture away from the walls and those dust bunnies are now my b—–. Sorry. Not sorry.

This room now brings me joy.

Today, I have things to do. I have places to go but this Landry room is driving me crazy. It’s the second most used room in our home next to the kitchen.

30 minutes

That what it takes to pull out the machines and clean the crap

Mop the floor and put it back

This day, already has brought me joy

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but today, I’m finding my joy in the laundry room lint now residing in my vacuum.

Have a beautiful and joyful day!

Charma

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Turn down the noise

Do you have one thing after another happen that you just have to pay attention?

It can’t just be a coincidence?

It started Sunday at church.

My former co-worker, supervisor and wonderful friend spoke at church Sunday morning. He spoke of addiction. Yeah, maybe a weird subject for church but if you knew Robs story, you would get it. His story includes substance abuse but addiction is so much more.

Addiction can be shopping or addiction can be another person. Addiction can be schedules or this stupid phone we (me included) seem to be so dependent on. Addiction can be work or not working. The list is endless.

Yesterday, as I painted kitchen cabinets for the basement renovation I listened to a podcast by Rachel Cruz, daughter of Dave Ramsey. It was a podcast on Christmas budgets. I honestly am a great budgeter and I didn’t need assistance in that area but as I continued to listen, I was intrigued by a guest she had on her show. Her name was Emily Ley and she is a professional on organizing and has all kinds of products for getting your life organized. She spoke words that had resonated with me for two days. She said “turn down the noise.” She didn’t mean the loud radio or hushing your children. She meant to calm your life. To say no to “one more thing.” To get off your phone. To stop comparing yourself with the Instagram little squares.

I hear you Emily Ley.

For the last two weeks, as I have spoke to many about our final renovation timeline, I’ve stressed that 2020 will be a different kind of year for us and I’ve never been able to put it into words but finally I can say we are turning down the noise.

There will be more evening walks and swinging at the park.

There will be weekends that we don’t get out of our pjs.

There will be more nights around the fire pit enjoying friends or weekend swim parties.

There will be some really fun trips that are already on the calendar

There will be less noise.

I’m already exciting about this change of pace for us.

Now don’t get me wrong. There will be projects. There will be painting in the garage and building things. There will be house repairs and improvements but nothing like the last 4 years.

It’s time to turn down the noise.

It’s time and I’m ready for more lunch dates with this cutie pie.

And more time spent with these people

there might be wrestling on the floor without another agenda looming

And some traveling to see this sweet guy. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone

Are you already thinking about 2020 and things that might be different?

If you are anything like me, it’s time to take a breath and turn down the noise.

Much love,

Charma

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10 hours for 2 hours

A month ago, as I listened to a favorite podcast, For the Love with Jen Hatmaker and it was mentioned that there would be a “For the Love” LIVE podcast in November.

Hurry!! Look at my calendar!!

It’s a Tuesday. Crap.

It’s in Atlanta. Crap.

I dismissed it

A few days later I am listening to another favorite podcast “The Popcast” with Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy and they mentioned the same Live podcast and they were going to be special guest at the same Live show.

I really want to go

I mentioned going to a few and they have jobs.

Dang it

All is not lost

That evening after dinner, after the table was cleared and the dishes were washed, I mentioned that there was an event I would love to go to.

I have a birthday coming up and maybe it could be my birthday gift.

We are not big birthday celebrators and our birthdays are 8 days apart. Sometimes we combine our days and do something fun. Sometimes we go on a birthday date and call it a day.

Buy the tickets Charma, I’ll go with you.

Done βœ…

Yesterday was the day.

He took off work and we packed a bag.

We left in time to hit up Chick-fil-A for breakfast and we were on our way.

We listened to music

I read my book for book club.

We caught up on reno schedules and chatted about nonsense

5 hours later we make it. Atlanta traffic ain’t no joke.

We checked into our hotel, changed our clothes and grabbed some dinner

The venue was a performing arts center so it was on the smaller size

Our seats were upgraded at the entrance gate so we were pretty close!

As we sat down, we were put in the center of the aisle. This is not normal procedure for a 6’6″ person. They like to sit on the end so as not to block anyone’s view who might sit behind them.

This event was also very heavy female oriented and as we sat waiting for the event to start, it was said “I can count on one hand how many men are in this room.”

Jen took the stage and she was as entertaining as she is on her podcast and as an author.

As the Live podcast begins, enters “The Popcast” hosts Jamie and Knox. I’m not usually a fan girl but it’s fun to sit and listen to the people that are usually in your ear buds as you sand and paint stuff.

If you are still reading this long post, this experience was fun. I tend to feel guilty when things are about me. My person took off work. He drove 10 hours to and from Atlanta for a two hour event when his job includes driving a lot of the time. He sat in a venue with many women. He let me take pictures and he laughed and sat next to me in the center of the aisle.

Thank you honey for time well spent. There is no one I want to sit beside more than you.

Your turn is Friday.

Night ranger here we come

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Step back!!

I’ve been picking out design elements for the basement Reno for months.

It’s a teeny tiny space but every crack and crevice matters. It has to mean something and every time I walk into the space, just like any other space I work on, I want to say “good job Charma.”

Sometimes it takes me a long time to make a design decision. It might sound silly, but I feel it when it’s right. I get this calmness in my gut.

That sounds silly, even as I write it.

Last night was no exception.

This wall now has drywall but it gives you a space comparison

I need to choose wallpaper or another kind of design element for behind the bed.

Flowers?

Checks?

Stripes?

Make it match?

Be creative and use something DIY!

Maybe shiplap or build a sweet headboard!

I

DON’T

KNOW

I found a lot of pretty things but nothing spoke loud enough to calm the gurgling in my belly.

Finally, I shut the computer down and decided to just stop

Stop looking

Stop fretting

Stop it all

Nothing is going to end if I don’t have an answer tonight

This morning, while driving to an event, I started thinking about my decision to put the selection on hold

It’s not just about wallpaper or a wall covering, it’s about many other things.

Do you hold your tongue when you have a thought or so you blurt it out?

Do you take a step back when there is a big decision to be made or are you a “do it now” kind of person?

I think sometimes if we would take a step back, ponder for a while or even seek guidance, the selection might already be there but we are just to inpatient to wait.

That’s a lot to say when I just started about picking wallpaper. Maybe as I step back on design decisions, I’ll grow in other parts of my life too.

That’s the name of the game right?

Have a fantastic day!

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DNA or Not

family option 4

Some of the people in this photo do not share my DNA

Most do.

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My Momma of course gave me my DNA. In this photo, she was in terrible pain and she will probably be mad at me for posting this.Β  She dressed up and showed up because I asked. It was a big ask….. I know that. She was miserable and I am grateful she loves me enough that she would put on dress clothes to make me happy on this day.

steve and charma

The guy standing beside me does not share my DNA but he put a ring on my finger almost 35 years ago so he qualifies. A suit? He never wears a suit. But I asked and he put it on.

I see so much more in this picture than dressed up people. I see dedication and hard work. I see loving the unlovable. I see forgiveness. I see our home in the background. A place that we worked side by side to create. I see love.

The big kids showed up.

Two share my DNA and they all share my heart.

Some live under my roof and some live 2 hours down the road. They dressed up and showed up. They smiled and my goodness we all sweated cause it was hot.

with babies

The babies…….share a little DNA and a lot of my heart. They are precious and I love them to my very core. Every single cell.

Why would we pose in front of old truck in our prettiest of clothes? We could have gone anywhere.

Why? Because Vernon, Dad or Papa needed to be in the photo. Family photos seem to never come at the right time and we are no exception. Someone is out of town or someone is pregnant and we will wait until the baby comes. Someone is sick or someone has to work. That truck “Lucy” stands in for Dad. Dad loved old cars and trucks and there is no better symbol of him than “Lucy Truck.”

Don’t wait to take the photo. It doesn’t have to be professional but they sure are pretty. And you Mommas and Grandmammas……get in the picture.

Don’t wait to say I Love you

Don’t wait to make the phone call

The people in this photo are loved

They are cherished

They are part of my DNA even if we don’t share it.

Thank you family, every last one of you for dressing up, showing up and being my people.

You are loved.

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Reno is not pretty

So far the basement reno has been dirty

Did I say dirty ?

I meant really, stinking, filthy, nasty dirty.

In 2017 when the hurricane came through, the basement flooded. The water was at least 18″ deep.

Since then, we have had gutters installed, created a water flow pattern and some more technical things I don’t know the names of.

The last step in protecting the room from water was to dig a trench all the way to the bottom of the block wall

We crawled through this door

Shimmied under the house

We dug a trench

4 feet deep

32 feet long

This friend……….a real friend to do this kind of work, showed up with her work clothes.

We dug.

The next step was to seal the block.

This step included tar and some sticky plastic wall paper stuff

It was the worst

We threw our clothes and our shoes in the trash.

Steve threw his clothes and shoes away numerous times due to the tar situation.

Again……it was awful

One more Saturday filling up the trench is on the calendar and then the PRETTY BEGINS!!!

Starting yesterday, I spent the entire glorious day in paint clothes.

I have been lacking in using my creative juices due to the tar situation.

But now……

These cabinets, which will be included in the pretty part of the Reno started getting their face lift

They might be blue πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

I’ll be sharing so much more very soon

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