Thursday, July 31, 2008


I just got into work and noticed that today is July 31. Then I burst into tears...I'm so afraid for tomorrow. I'm so afraid of August. My fears...that I can't do it...that I can't face that month...that I cannot make it through another August 20. I want to yell...WAIT...just wait...please, let's linger here a bit longer in July.

This feeling so reminds me of the first time I used that word with such passion...with such pleading...with such desperation. I was about four-years-old, and was playing a GREAT new game at my Aunt Teresa's house. I had created it all by myself...and was playing it all by myself...and was quite pleased...with myself. I had just discovered that by standing straight and leaning forward, I could momentarily feel like I was flying...then I would catch myself before I fell too far forward. So I was experimenting with how far I could lean before catching myself...the farther, the more "fly" time. Then I got a BRILLIANT idea...I would stand on the porch and lean over the side...and uh, put my hands in my pockets.... Hey, I was four! I'm sure you know what happened next...busted chin first on the sidewalk below (but BOY the fly time was GREAT).

My aunt frantically rushed me to the ER, where I begged for a band-aid. "I just need a band aid...please...give me a band-aid." Then I see it...the needles...for deadening and stitching. 'WAIT...just wait...please...just wait." The nurse comes towards me with the needle and I am beside myself with begging..."Please, please, wait." Now I don't know why I thought waiting would help. It wasn't like it was going to hurt any less. It wasn't as if waiting would magically transport me out of the situation. But I was desperate for a chance to catch my breath before the searing was not granted. And I know my pleas for a delay in time will not occur. August comes tomorrow...with all its pain. Just as the stitches helped heal my body...holding onto Jesus and letting grief do its work in me will heal my soul. Still...I sure could use a little more time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hair cuts for everyone! I have finally thought of a way to honor Chuck on the day of his entry to heaven...a hair cut. As many of you know, the man refused to cut his hair until he was home. Thus, he became an adorably scraggly looking fellow. I really wish I had thought to cut his hair upon his arrival to the pearly gates. Eh, what ya gonna do? In any case, I do hereby declare AUGUST 20 as national hair cut day. I will get mine done, and encourage you to schedule your appointment now for August 20. You fellas can even let your facial hair go for a few weeks, then visit a barber for a shave or something cool like that. Just a thought....

Sunday, July 27, 2008 tired...God...big God....lots of movement in my heart and tired...will write later. In the meantime...praising an amazingly personal God who knows me inside out...and provides surprises to bless my heart in ways only he can.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What happens to the boy who suddenly gets everything he's ever wanted? (Willie Wonka would say that he lives happily ever after.) My FAVORITE singer/song-writer has been sent to Nashville (my sister in tow) to produce an album. I am so stinkin proud I could burst. More than that, Greg is a conduit for the holy spirit...prolifically producing songs that touch my heart. Funny, I know his music, yet each time I hear a song, the spirit speaks something new into me. In any case...listen along.

p.s. My current favorite is "Can't Blame It on You." It is an ode to my sister. Greg has a POWERFUL life story...addiction, hope, failure, love, freedom....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

VICTORY! I believe the house has sold AND the dog-urine-collection project was a success. Amy Brinkerhoff, you are a genius. I doubted your crazy ladle technique but it worked like a charm!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wrap was a GREAT visit with Janet. We drove to Austin to see the bats last first time ever. (I am a HUGE fan of the bat...not sure why...I find them fascinating and quite adorable...but I think mice are cute too, so there you have it.) Upon seeing the last of the bats leave the bridge, I saw the FIRST star of evening. EVERY time that happens, I cannot help but do the whole, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." I pondered for a moment...small wish...big wish? Then I realized...I am so utterly contented and grateful for where I am...all I could manage was "more of the same, please."

Lately I feel awash in gratitude for the JOY in my life...thanks only to God. I know...I should be a mess...I should be miserable...I should have heart should be filled with venom and bitterness. When we sang in church today, "God can move a mountain," I wept because he CAN. He DID move a mountain in my life. He moved me! He moved me from utter loss to utter abundance. You must know, surley, you must know how much I adored my husband. You must know how losing him shattered my heart. You must know how his struggle in the hospital stripped me of every human comfort and left me raw and bleeding. Surely you must know. That I am standing; that I am functioning; that I have a life FILLED with joy and love...that I can receive love...and hope...that I can HOPE after such a devastating loss...surely you must know that is a GIFT to me from our God...the one who is MIGHTY to save...our God is mighty to save.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

All of you in the hill country area...if it has been a while (20 years for me) since you've gone tubing...put it on your TO DO LIST. Whew. Absolute heaven...blast...picturesque...lazy, lazy, lazy (in a great way). Alas, Janet and I did 4 hours, which may have been a bit much. I took my trusty sun-screen with me and held on to it for dear life during the whole time. I bought it yesterday morning and almost went through the whole bottle. I guess I can be a bit obsessive compulsive. NOT A SINGLE RED MARK, I'm proud to say. Alas, my eyes did not manage as well. I suspect that I actually burned that possible? Janet jokingly called it...the river blindness..."Ya got the river blindness, do ya?" I don't want to rip them from their sockets like I did yesterday, BUT they are still pretty sensitive to light.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My b.f.f. from college is coming to visit! Janet just finished a two-year-tour with the peace corp in Ecuador. Now, I met Chuck first...but got to know Janet well before knowing Chuck. Alas, I often think of Janet as a female version of Chuck...witty and too smart for her own good. She and Chuck become vicious rivals...vying for my laughter. Any time she came to visit, it was a score for me cause the two would put forth their best efforts...the prize being my peals of laughter.

I'm going to try to do a new-fangled link to Janet's post in which she explains Chuck's #1 weapon in the Chuck-Janet wars...
Just an update on urine collection...Friday is collection day (b/c I'm not working and can get it to the vet post haste). Amy Brinkerhoff has come through once again...a ladle. You use a of course...unless you have to do the job again!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just a whole lot of nothing going on right now...which should be great. Alas transitioning from too much to do to too little to do can be jarring to the system.

My house has had TWELVE viewings. The folks who come in rate the house...and I must say that I get REALLY upset with any negative feedback. I want to tell these folks, "You are no longer welcome in my home...which I've lovingly prepared for your viewing...get out and never come back...and take your negative feedback with you!" Silly, I know.

It's only been a week...and I've even had an offer...waaaaaay too low though. Still, I'm starting to doubt this whole thing. "Really God? Is this what I'm supposed to do? Really? Are you sure? Then why is it hard???"

On the joyous end...I'm having a blast with the kids. Our relationships have deepened in such beautiful ways. I'm truly a part of their lives...of their family. Kilian told me the other day, "You're like my mommy." Mmmmm...does it get any better?

I am missing my Picciuti family too much. I have been dreaming of my niece Lindsey I sorta get to visit her.

On a funny note, I took Bailey to the vet and they were unable to get a urine sample. So guess what my homework is. I have a hard enough time collecting a urine sample from in the world will I get one from my DOG???

That's it...waiting for a handy-man to arrive...because my patch job on the ceiling did not pass muster.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen...we have a test...a few to be exact. This was an actual phrase I overheard in our "war" room..."looks like the b parameter is shifting. We need to pull it back." To which, Chuck would have said, "Well adjust the flux capacitor, for heaven's sakes."

The week was TOUGH but rewarding...not only do I work with amazing people...our clients aren't too shabby themselves. Seriously, I was blessed beyond belief. It is a GREAT encouragement to me to know that the children of "my state" are in such capable, loving, creative, silly (in the child-like-minded way) hands.

During the week, I was blessed with a new mentor...Victoria happens to be married to one of my favorite math guys. Alas, she is a widow. When she found out that I'm new to the widow thing, she made it her business to make time for me...just to share and chat.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just a note...I will be falling off the face of the earth this week. It is my team's most exciting, exhausting, frustrating, exhilirating, head-banging, agony-enducing, thrilling week of the entire year. WE WILL BE CONSTRUCTING TESTS...which essentially means I will be 1) super busy and 2) too exhausted mentally to write...or call...or speak. (We reading people will be neck-deep in STATISTICS...can you believe it???)

Oh, and I've selected a realtor...home is going on the market!!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

If you have never taken a 3-and-3/4-year-old to the movies, do yourself a HUGE favor and round one up! I took Kilian to see Wall-E today...and these were some of the perks. She climbed up into my lap and basically layed down...propping her head on the cushy arm rest. Her commentary was delightful...but the BEST was the trip to the bathroom. She is a "big girl," so she got her own stall. When she was done she beckoned me with "Aunt Janny, I need heeeeelp." When I opened the stall door, she was standing there stark naked...too hilarious...stark naked...something her uncle Chuck would have be it was one of his favorite "tricks" catch me off guard by showing up somewhere random...naked. (No, no...never in public...well, not really public so much as inappropriate.) This segues nicely into his TOP performance...we are driving all night...from Spearman to Dallas. I am at the wheel and he is talking to me about something...don't remember what...and he just waits. In retrospect, I have no idea how long he sat there stark naked before I glanced see him with that I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF look on his face...and of course, I laughed until I cried.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Okay, so I'm looking through files of pictures on the computer and I come to one Chuck has titled...BEST PICTURE EVER...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

For the past two weeks, I have been a bit weepy...longing-for-Chuck weepy. Memories of him sneak up on me at odd times...on the way to the cafeteria...on the stairwell...walking to the copier...and the tears come. So basically, I'm walking around at work with tears either ready to spill...spilling...or, well, you get it. It's a busy time right now (work and home) and there are probably many contributing factors...but here's the deal. The year anniversary is fast approaching...and I don't want it to come. I find comfort in thinking, "a year ago Chuck was...". I do NOT want to get too far away from his living years...I want them to stay fresh. I do NOT want to say, "a year ago Chuck was dead and I was in agony."

I think the weather is a contributing was HOT when Chuck was here in the hospital. I remember keeping a pair of flip flops in my car for after work...I'd truck out through the HOT parking lot at work...slide on the comfy flip flops...rush to the hospital and PRAY for a spot under a tree...trek across the HOT parking lot...and up to my beloved. My body seems to be responding to the HOT weather by recycling these memories...and its not just the's smells. Each season seems to come with its own smells...its own signature...for me all of summer screams...Chuck's death is's coming.

So...while the anniversary is still a month and a half away, please start praying for this big transition. Please pray that I allow the pain to wash over me. Please pray that I weep freely...and reach for comfort from God and others. Pray for a way for me to commemorate the day....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Okay, so selling our home is tougher than I, I still haven't even met with an agent. He's coming on Wednesday. It's the emotional move that's hurting my heart. I did not realize how attached I had become to my home...and most likely it's been the past 10 months that has cinched the deal. Our home...has brought me so much comfort. So much healing has transpired here. PLUS, moving out means moving on...moving forward toward a great big unknown. I loved my life with Chuck. I loved being Chuck's wife. While the idea of "total independence" is thrilling...I just want to be home with Chuck. Moving into an apartment as a single is such a big emotional leap. Of course, every time I check in with God I get a thumbs I'm moving forward....