Do me a favor, Darlings

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm (Big Business, Lessons Learned)

The time has come for me to ask a huge favor of you. It does not require any strenuous work, mental or physical and would only require a couple of moments of your time. It will cost you nothing but will reward you with a happy feeling that you helped someone out. Interested?

I am working at trying to get¬†picked up by search engines such as google and yahoo. My dear friend Megan (who is THE woman to go to with a question on just about any subject…she is a plethora of knowledge) has told me that having as many links to Red House Photography as possible will help in this process. So…I’m asking you…my blog readers, friends and family to consider adding to your links and blogroll. You would be doing a huge kindness for me and I will be eternally grateful!!!

And…if I ever shoot any pictures for you…I’ll throw in a couple of free prints from your order as a tangible “Thank You!”

You rock! 


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Pills and Thrills

Monday, November 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm (Lessons Learned, Word Therapy)

Okay. Time for a life update. Here goes.

Things are definitely better (praise God!). After a month of NOT being on any antidepressants it became clear that it was just not working for me. I tried. It didn’t work. Pass the pills.

I’m now taking Zoloft which is considered safe for use during conception, pregnancy and breast-feeding. And I’ve gotta tell you…I feel like myself again!

At first, I admit I kind of felt like a failure for not being able to do this without the meds. However, my father reminded me that a malfunctioning organ is not my fault and God knows my situation. He is sovereign in everything. How true!

Over the next few days I kept pondering on the fact that God knows exactly what my body requires. I eventually decided that as humans we look at things statistically. 1 in 10 women will have conception issues. 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Etc. Etc. However, we are NOT statistics to Christ and He does NOT deal with us in that manner.

God knows what each of us requires. In every way: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…He knows. I could worry (but I’m not!) that taking an antidepressant might pose some risk to our future child but what good is this fretting going to do? Does God not know what my body needs to function? Is He not in control of “knitting” our baby in my womb to be the person He desires him/her to be? Absolutely. God will give us the child He has for us and no other. I am not a statistic of any drug company. I am God’s child and His will doesn’t have to follow our rules.

On the other front: it looks like James has landed a job. We haven’t got an official offer so I’m not going to say with whom but all signs are pointing to YES! Another praise Jesus! If this job does come through, he will be working for one of the top companies in the New Home industry. Their reputation precedes them. It would definitely be a move up! Hopefully, we’ll hear tomorrow. I’ll let you know.

We are also planning on going to Arkansas for another visit later this week. If James gets the position we are pretty sure he will start at the beginning of December so it gives us a little flex time, which is nice. Our last visit was good but it was too short and I just wasn’t feeling great. So…I’m very excited to go back. I think us gals might take a trip to Branson too…which I LOVE doing. And no…I’m not a member of the AARP. There’s just some really cool stuff there. I promise.

Although once…a few years ago, I did get an invitation to join the AARP. I found a gray hair that day too. I called my mom and asked her if she lied about the year I was born. She denied it. It was a bad day.

PS-the gray hair never came back. Phew.

PPS-I guess now that I’m feeling better I have to go back to the gym. Ugh.

PPPS-is my camera EVER gonna come???

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Friday, November 2, 2007 at 12:03 am (Lessons Learned, Uncategorized, Word Therapy)

Why am I sharing such intimate details on my blog? Why do I write about life’s many struggles? Why am I pimping my pen (or keyboard…whatever) and giving you the sordid details? One reason: it’s for you. Yes, you…shy girl…way in the back…

I look at life like this…God has given me an outgoing personality. He has given me a love for people and a heart for others. He has also given me trouble. Heck-He’s even promised me trouble (John 16:33) so what I do with it is ultimately up to me. Well…to ellude to a completely overused cliche’ (so SO sorry)…I DO like lemonade. Especially homemade. Pass the sugar, please.

So, with all that has been dealt to me I feel it would be a waste to monopolize it all. I clearly know that I am not one of the chosen ones who goes through struggles in this life…we all do. However, I do feel that in my case I am called to share these experiences with others. I have greatly benefited from others who have shared their life’s battles and showed their scars. I have learned from these brave people and appreciate beyond measure their openness. I want to follow in their courageous footsteps so that maybe…just maybe…I can live up to my life’s motto.

Tonight I really just wanted to share WHY I’m sharing SO much with you. Most of you readers are women. A good many of you have struggled through the same things I now am. I would be a fool for not seeking your advice and learning from your experiences. Others of you have not had these struggles but will. I hope to be an encouragement when that time comes. I hope you’ll look back and remember “Hey…if someone else made it through these times…I will as well.” And still others of you have offered your support and prayers. For that…words cannot express my gratitude. For that…I almost feel selfish for sharing. Thank you.

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Introducing Word Therapy. Take a seat.

Friday, October 26, 2007 at 1:52 am (Big Business, Get outta town!, Lessons Learned, Murmurs from the Future, Word Therapy)

Well…get ready people, because I am about to unload on you. The last few weeks have been difficult at best and I feel that I am finally to the point of just laying it all out there. As you have probably figured out by now…I am not a shy person. I have no problem talking about life’s nitty-gritty aspects. If you have a problem reading about them…well…this post has been given a PG-13 rating for adult themes; main theme being life. Consider yourself warned.

So, as some of you may be aware James and I are ready to start a family. Fewer of you know that I have taken anti-depressants for the amount of time it takes to grow a teenager. For the past 12 or 13 years (somewhere in there) I have relied on these meds to give my emotions a sense of balance and normalcy. I believe it was in my sophomore year of high school that I started the meds after my family and I realized that I was battling some serious depression. Let me clarify one thing before we go too much further: my cause of depression is completely physical and unfortunately the only way to combat it is through medication. I don’t go to therapy and have never had the need for it. Please know that I am not trying to set myself above others; those for whom therapy is needed. I’m simply explaining the condition so that you can better understand it. My depression is hereditary and stems most likely from other health issues of mine (adult growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism).

Okay, back to my point. For the past 12 or 13 years I have been able to be the “real” me with the help of medicine. While I have switched antidepressants countless times during this period, NEVER have I been completely off of them. Until now. Those of you who have similar issues can probably guess just how fun my life is right now. A blast. Please-I love being an emotional wreck. Okay…perhaps not.

I started weaning off the meds a few weeks ago so that we can start trying for our family. And while there are medications out there that are considered “safe” to use during pregnancy, I am trying my best to go it without them. At least until we get past the first trimester. I want to make the best possible decisions for our child and if I can handle life without the antidepressants, well, gosh! I’m going to do it! Of course, like others who are trying to conceive, we have no idea how long it will take. BUT-I will tell you…after having to go through the horrible withdraws of getting off the medications…I’m going to stay off for as long as possible. Hopefully we’ll conceive quickly. Okay…let’s get a bit more specific about my life right now, shall we?


To all of you who once knew me. Yes, I’m still alive. No, I didn’t quit church or the gym. And yes, it is possible that the woman you saw who somewhat resembled me but heavier…it may have been me. Ugh.

So-let’s move through this quickly. I’ve been sick. Similar to having the flu…I’m tired (really exhausted. Anything earlier than about 1pm is getting up early), sick at my stomach, having hot/cold flashes, mood swings faster than any ride at Six Flags (God bless James, remember him in your prayers), and hunger to rival that of a third-world country. That my friends has been life for the past few weeks. These are the reasons that I have not returned your phone calls (sweet though they are), have not been at church (say “Jesus” and I’ll start crying, I promise) and haven’t been to the gym or to my training group (miss you girls). However, I have been seen on the junk food isle of the grocery store. You just gotta know where to look, folks!

Okay-so that’s seems like more fun than I need, right? No? Oh…okay. Let’s add to it.


A few weeks back (same time I started getting off the meds) I went to the OBGYN to get a check-up and talk about starting our family. Since I said that we were pursuing pregnancy the doctor automatically did blood work to check my various hormone levels. Okay, that’s nice. Let’s just make sure everything is in order. I really had no worries. My sister, who has almost identical health issues to me just had her second child. No problems with anything either time. I truly envisioned the same for me. Even though I have worried in the past that God was preparing me for infertility through my desire for adoption, I really didn’t think there was a chance I’d be infertile. I just chalked it up to being a normal woman’s fear. That’s normal, right? I mean, my life’s ambition has always been to be a wife and mother. Well…WHAM.

So, I got a call from the doctor’s office (it was actually the nurse) who asked me if I had talked to the doctor about a medicine called Clomid. “No, I have not but I do know what it is (it’s a medicine that helps women to ovulate when they don’t do it naturally. It has a horrible reputation of causing SEVERE mood swings. I figure I can produce those well enough on my own. I DON’T want any assistance, thank you very much). What are you telling me?” She proceeds to tell me that I’m not ovulating. WHAT? How can this be? My cycle is normal and near down-to-the-day predicable. Why am I even having one if I’m not ovulating? What a waste! Seriously…if I’m not ovulating, I don’t want a period! How unfair!

After hearing this (and remember, I’m already in a super emotional state from my lack of drugs) I lose it. I cry and cry and proceed to cry a bit more. Bless my husband’s heart, he does his best with me and I continue crying. Somehow I make it to the next day without flooding our apartment. On this day I call my mother and cry some more and she quickly reassures me that we are not in a place to worry yet. Labs can be wrong, tests can be done on wrong days etc etc. She definitely makes me feel better.

Okay, so now I’m to the point of “the doctor could be wrong…we’ll wait and see” and that is fitting me pretty well for the time being. I can get through this and will. Thus…I began praying for a miracle. You can pray too.

This was last week. Let’s keep going.


Tuesday morning comes and my husband received a call to go into work. It was his day off but his partner was sick so being the team-player that he is…he sacrificed and went in. About 2 hours later he is on his way back home from the office. For good. He was downsized.

Now, I could say a lot right here and probably get pretty nasty. But-I’m not going to. I could suggest some things that may or may not be true about his former company but I won’t. Mind you-it’s for his sake. Not because I’m exceptionally classy when it comes to things like this because to be honest…you mess with me, my family or my friends and I can get pretty rough. Not proud of it…I just know it’s true. I’m just loyal through and through. I defend those I love. It’s just part of me. But I won’t because he wouldn’t want me to. He’s got a maturity when it comes to situations like this that I have yet to possess.

Well, needless to say…this just elevated the stress level from orange to red. I don’t work so James is the provider; a great one at that. But life is interesting…I just ordered a bunch of photography equipment for the new business. Can’t cancel it because the supply and demand factor is too great. If I did cancel it now there is a chance I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on the stuff for another 6 months or so and I’m not willing to risk it.

So…one door has been definitively closed. Now we’re looking for the open window. And…we may have found it. The day after James was let go he received a call for an interview with a very well-known builder. He had sent in his resume on Tuesday…call came on Wednesday. That interview is happening today at 10:30 am. (It’s currently 1:30 am but I got the urge to write and couldn’t resist it. This is the first time I’ve stayed up late in weeks.)

What’s interesting is that for some time we’ve wondered if he should move on to a better company but really had no idea how business was going for other companies. He’s in new home sales so I’m sure you know what that means in today’s market. Well, it looks like God has decided that it is indeed time to move on and so that’s what we’re doing. Same industry, different builder. We simply pray that things progress quickly. A lot of times the interview process is rather long and drawn-out but we do know that God is in control.


We may be heading to Arkansas tomorrow (today, really) after his interview to go and spend a few days with my family (Big YAY!). James hasn’t gotten to go up since Memorial Day since he normally works weekends and hasn’t met our newest niece Leah yet. We want to just get away and relax and leave all that is normal life in Texas for the weekend.

When we do get back I plan on posting some things that I’ve been meaning to for the past few weeks but haven’t felt up to doing. These include pictures of Leah (and Elenna, of course), pics from my 10 year high school reunion and a post dedicated to Don, Amie and PF Changs, complete with…you guessed it…more pictures! We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, thank you dear WordPress for providing me with an outlet to unburden myself while wasting away hours that should be spent curled up in bed next to my husband. And readers…if you’ve made it this far you’re to be commended. This was an overly long and drawn-out post and sadly…I gave you the reader’s digest (very) condensed version. And to top it all off…I’m not even going to proof it. I’m too tired. Mistakes will be corrected at a later date. Deal with it.

And now…I’m going to bed. Goodnight all.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 11:18 pm (Lessons Learned, Seriously?, She's baaack!)

one indestructible, impenetrable, everlasting, unfading coat of arms (literally). Main duties will include but not be limited to: covering my heart on my sleeve, guarding emotions on command, stopping tears before they begin welling in my eyes and the like. Sheer fabrics need not apply.

My tender heart. That’s the topic of the day. Why? you ask? Because, gosh darn-it! I’m sick of being so emotional!

Well, here goes. What do you want to bet I can’t even TYPE this without tearing up?

So, last week was a great success. I was able to welcome our newest niece, Leah Elizabeth into the world on Sunday. She is a beautiful girl and already seems to encapsulate the sweetness that a name like Leah suggests. I was able to spend some quality time with both her and our other niece Elenna (3). Therein begins the problem.

Anytime I am able to spend an extended period of time with my family I am truly overjoyed. My heart was full from this occasion and even though I missed James ever-so-much and was definitely ready to come home at the end of the week…it just wasn’t easy. My silly heart always seems to get in the way and once again I found myself in tears as I said goodbye to my family. As many times as I have been through this one would think I could handle it better. One would think wrong.

I prepared myself all week. This is no lie. While it is always hard to leave my family after any trip, it is especially hard after the birth of a baby; a baby I was privileged enough to help welcome into the world. When Elenna was born and I had to leave her the very next day, tears were more than flowing…they were flooding. Of course, the same could be said during her birth so maybe, I thought, it would be easier this time. This time, like with Elenna, I was present for Leah’s birth. And while it was just as much of a miracle as with Elenna, I didn’t cry this round. Of course, that could be due to the fact that she came so quickly there was no time for tears. I was focused on capturing her first breaths on camera and so my mind was a bit occupied. I didn’t mind this distraction in the slightest. I hoped it would be a forecast of things to come. Well, like in daily life, the forecast was wrong.

So, like I said, I had been preparing for my goodbye all week. “I will not cry. I will not cry” ran steadily through my mind. I constantly thought about how happy I would be to get home and see James. I thought about us having our own baby. I thought about anything other than actually saying goodbye.

[On a side note: I had my 10 year reunion this weekend and it was incredibly fun…much more than I ever had expected. It was great catching up with old friends and seeing where life had taken them. During one of our events a good friend mentioned something to me about how emotional and soft-hearted I’ve always been. Seriously? I had no idea what she was talking about. I’m a brick. house.]

Anyway, back to the story. So…the day arrives for me to say goodbye. I’d been holding Leah and playing with Elenna, trying to stretch the time out as much as possible but then, it was time to leave. As I stood up to say goodbye I felt it coming. Crap. It was getting to the point of no return. Waters were rising and would soon be spilling down my face. I was talking to my mom and sister and trying my best not to look at either of them because I knew that the moment I made eye contact, I’d be through. And so it happened. (and is happening all over again as a write this…told you) The tears began pouring and my jaw was straining under the pressure to keep from chattering. Interestingly enough, when I tried to tell Elenna goodbye she nearly gave me the cold shoulder. We learned a long time ago that she, like her aunt, despises goodbyes. However, she, unlike her aunt, has the right idea. She barely acknowledged my goodbye and kept her mind set on the task at hand. Playing. No tears. No long drawn-out hugs. It’s quick and it’s over. Rip that bandaid! Oh…what I could learn from her!

So…I shed my tears for a bit longer while I was in the car by myself and then my blubbering slowly came to an end. What a pain all of this is. My makeup (apparently here illegally) had decided to beat the INS and run south for the border. My contacts are had now begun to blur from all of my salty tears. (And seriously, if for no other reason than this, I need Lasik.) And my nose…so stuffy that breathing is becoming less and less of a reality. All of this because Jonna can’t seem to get control of her stupid emotions. ARGH.

I could go on and on but I think you’re getting the picture. In my world the breakdown is simple and looks somewhat like this:

emotions = pure evil.

I will leave you with this last thought. In Psalm 56:8 David writes about God collecting our tears in a bottle. While that my be true for most, I would venture to say that God has employed the use of a keg for mine. Cheers.

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If A=B and B=C then A=C; otherwise known as the only algebra I remember…

Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 2:50 pm (Lessons Learned)

My current equation looks something like this:

Jonna=no growth hormone shots

No growth hormone shots=lethargic



Lethargic [luh-tharh-jik]


1. the quality or state of being drowsy and dull, listless and unenergetic, or indifferent and lazy; apathetic or sluggish inactivity.

2. Pathology. an abnormal state or disorder characterized by overpowering drowsiness or sleep.

In other words…give me a couple of days and then I’ll be back! I know how you’ve missed me!

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I’m eating my words…and they taste pretty good…

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 5:26 pm (Lessons Learned)

Very rarely does this happen. I mean, VERY rarely. This is about the equivalent of seeing Lindsay Lohan without a drink in hand. However, today is a special day so sit back and enjoy. Invite your friends and get ready to be amazed!

Here goes…I WAS WRONG. Yes, occasionally it happens, even to the best of us. I know, it’s difficult to accept but please don’t be disillusioned…I’m still practically flawless.

So…today I am choosing to eat my words (I decided on this because eating crow is pretty disgusting and is probably an open invitation for the CDC to stop by my house). I’ve also found that in this case my words are tasting pretty good. If it was this great to be wrong all the time I’d welcome the challenge; and it would be a challenge. However, that’s neither here nor there…

So…for years, and I do mean YEARS I have held tightly to a certain belief. I guess I have been prejudice towards this subject and now I’m here to apologize. Harry Potter, please accept these humble words from your newest fan.

What? you ask…WHO doesn’t like Harry Potter? WHO hasn’t read Harry Potter? WHO hasn’t seen Harry Potter on the big screen? Well, before last week I could have answered “ME!” to those questions. You see, I’ve never really enjoyed fantasy fiction and had no desire what-so-ever to branch out and read about a little wizard boy. However, after my trip to Arkansas last week and through the prodding (again) of my dear sister I decided to give Mr. Potter a try. Perhaps it was that I had finished my book that I took on the trip and had nothing else to read. Perhaps it was so that I wouldn’t have to listen to my sister telling me how fabulous the books were anymore. Perhaps…perhaps I was a TAD curious.

Now I must tell you that it seems curiosity has served this cat quite well. And I need to clarify something else as well. Though I may have been wrong about the enjoyment level of these books, my stubbornness has also served me in a rather good manner. You see, for all of you who have loved Harry from the start you have had to wait patiently for each new book and spend time back in the real world, often forgetting key plots and such. I have done this with so many series and it is pure torture waiting for the next book. Television is also that way. Those suits in Hollywood think it’s funny to leave us hanging on after the season finale and all we’ve left to do is spend our summers watching reruns and the like. However, if one has the willpower (or stubbornness as the case may be) one can wait until the entire series (books or television) is complete and then enjoy it all at once. This is hedonism at it’s finest (and probably healthiest but that’s a different blog all together).

So, I’ve one thing to ask of you, my faithful readers…please, don’t spoil anything for me…at this point, I only ask for your congratulations. Once I’ve gone out and bought my books and read them we can go into the discussion of details. However, this will take some time as I’m going to be very busy this next week.

And now, let me sum up this entire blog by giving you my official press statement: I am now (along with so so many of you other muggles), officially and openly, a Harry Potter fanatic.


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All I really need to know about life after marriage I learned from teenagers. Lesson #1

Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 11:34 pm (Lessons Learned)

First things first…if you want to know what I really think about the post below this go here and read #5. Okay…everybody’s moving on now, right?

So, last Thursday I took 3 girls from our youth group to Six Flags. What a day! Seriously those girls and I had more fun than words will do justice. However, I learned a few things. This has inspired me to start a series of lessons learned that will appear here periodically. Here is the first installment:

Lesson #1: It is deemed acceptable for a married woman to wear the oft-dreaded fanny pack.

I have never been put in this position before. In the past, my mother wore the fanny pack or my husband had cargo pockets. This time it was just me and 3 teenage girls. What? Did you think THEY would wear the pack? Our feminine pockets aren’t friendly to the money, keys, hand sanitizer etc. that would have to be carried around the park. What was I suppose to do? I have a dear friend (the mother of one of these girls) who graciously packed us a cooler full of bottled waters and Gatorades. She also brought me the best fanny pack one could wear. When I say the “best” I mean that it is a Nike pack and the swoosh adds a somewhat sporty look to the otherwise matronly item (Yes, I may be married but that does not mean I have to be matronly). She laughed and told me at least it was a cool fanny pack. I agreed. It is the coolest of the uncool (at least for a place like Six Flags…can’t quite wear the designer leather series here). So…what else could I do?

On the way to the park I joked with the girls about the fanny pack but they quickly assured me, in all seriousness that “It’s okay to wear a fanny pack if you’re married.” What? Did I miss the memo? Maybe it’s actually more along the lines of “It’s okay to wear a fanny pack if you’re married and you’re not my mother.” So through the reassuring voices of “cool” teenagers I opted for the pack…I really shouldn’t even word it like that since it wasn’t really a choice but a necessity. I wore that pack as it should be worn, around the waist for about 9 of the 13 hours we were there. Towards the end I realized I could just sling it over my shoulder and I wore it that way instead. Why I didn’t do this sooner I have no idea but I’m really not torturing myself over that…I AM married after all! But don’t expect to see me wearing it at the mall with socks and sandals on…cuz IT JUST AIN’T HAPPENING.

UPDATE: After a couple of demands (see comments on this post) to see pictures of me wearing the pack I have decided to post this picture. This is our “pre-park” picture…and I made DARN SURE that I took off the fanny pack prior to the taking the pic (which for the record is why my shirt is all jumbled up at the bottom…proof! I did wear it.) I didn’t take the camera in the park because I really didn’t want to take any chances with it getting wet…and it definitely would have, though it also would have been great to have more pics. The girls and I did pose for the Titan camera each time we rode it but you’ve got to be seriously impaired if you think I’m going to spend 10 bucks for a park picture. Anyway, here it is…sorry but it’s all I’ve got.



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