Pre and Post Divorce


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I have noticed a pattern in life. Whenever a traumatic event occurs, it becomes a marker in time.  When we lost our home in a house fire in 2004, my thoughts afterward became altered according to whether something had occurred before the fire, or afterward. Also, I would be cooking and look for an item and then recall the item was pre-house fire, that sort of thing.  The same thing happened after the death of my mother-in-law and then two years later when my father-in-law also passed away.  The traumatic events have impacted me in such a way as to permanently affect my thought patterns on everything in life.

Now I am in the midst of another traumatic event which I would like to think I am nearing the end of actually.  In May 2012, my husband and I separated and thus began the closing of a chapter in my life I never thought would end…marriage.  I had prayed for over 11 years, every day, for God to help me to be a Proverbs 31 kind of wife. For the most part, I felt this prayer was daily answered in spite of my short comings since I am only human.  With the separation, my purpose in life was pulled out from under me like a rug.  For over a year, I grieved the loss of my marriage and I felt hopeless in spite of overwhelming support from family, friends and God. However, as with all traumatic events, there comes a time when one simply must come out on the other side and continue with their life. I am entering the home stretch of the divorce. Papers will be signed any day now to finalize it after a nearly two long year separation.  I have to reevaluate what my purpose in life is and my challenge is to not let this traumatic event pull me down, but instead continue to live a purpose-driven life with many fulfilling goals both short-term and long-term.  I look forward to what the future holds. I am ready for the post side of this divorce because I have lived in limbo far too long waiting for the divorce to be finalized.

Having looked back at the impact the fire had on my life, then the tragic deaths of my in-laws, the last thing I wanted to go through next was divorce. God has been so faithful in helping me through the separation and I know He will be with me post-divorce as well as I begin a new chapter in life on my own, but I’m not alone really. I have such a great support system of family and friends and I am so very blessed!  I can do this!

Little Tidbits of My Life!

Memories


I am so glad to be a part of this blogging group. I was referred here by a blogger from my church. I have really enjoyed the site thus far. I have always preferred a simple lifestyle and was raised in a rural area in a small town called Ooltewah, TN. I was very happy to move to Sand Mountain in 2001. The rural area here is just like the town I grew up in. Ooltewah, however, has became quite populated and much of the farmland has been developed into subdivisions. The fields I played in as a child now feature homes worth up to $1 million. While these homes are beautiful, I miss the pastures and all the wildlife that used to be there. As a child, I used to get a blanket and lay on my back in the yard while watching beautiful bald eagles play and nest on our property. The eagles have not been seen there in many years, now. The memories will be with me forever. Enough nostalgia!

This picture below was taken from my back deck. I love the view of my neighbor’s field.

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I love this pic. It looks to me like the bull is lecturing the poor girls.

Anyway I look forward to meeting new friends and sharing sewing tips, recipes, etc. I love to quilt both from hand and by machine, so if anyone has quilting questions, feel free to ask me. If I don’t know the answer, I will try to find it for you. I started quilting around age 7. The elderly ladies at my church took me under their wing, so I learned about 10 different ways to do everything (each one I sat with would tell me their way is better, so I just kept my mouth shut and kept learning :o)).

Last year, my mother wanted to make a special quilt for her sister who had just had a massive stroke. My aunt has always loved to collect angel trinkets, so my mother asked me to design an angel for the center of the quilt. I found a pretty lace angel online and used its outline as my general layout for the angel. I hand-embroidered the angel, then designed and cut out the quilt pieces. My mother sewed it together and hand-quilted it. She also did the binding. I especially enjoyed the time my mother and I spent together making the quilt because it was our first large scale project together.

The pic below is a closeup of the angel and the next pic is the completed quilt.

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I will be glad to share anything that is my original design. I will try to post different projects here soon if anyone is interested in my patterns or instructions for my projects. For now I am going to go find some supper.

I look forward to meeting new friends here!

Little Tidbits of My Life!

Teresa

How can I find happiness in life?


A blog entry from 2010…

I am a Christian. As a Christian, I believe the Holy Bible is God’s Word and I look to it for guidance for my life and for answers about life after death, not just help for life here on earth.

I was asked the question “How can I find happiness in life” by two people who came to my house last week. Actually they gave me a brochure of a list of situations and asked if any speak to me. I started crying when I saw this question “How can I find happiness in life?”. I don’t know what came over me, I just couldn’t hold back the tears. I explained that a spirit of grief has been in our home for a year now since first my Nana in law passed away Labor Day weekend 2009, then at Christmas time 2009, my mother in law passed away. On the day of her funeral, my other grandmother in law passed away. I lost 3 of the most important and influential women in my life all in less than 4 months time.  It is not that I would WILL them to come back here, for that would not be fair to them. They were all three professed Christians and I feel confident I will one day meet them again in heaven. I just plain ole’ pure and simply miss them, especially my mother-in-law as hers was a very untimely death. She passed away just a day after having surgery and it was so unexpected that no one even got to say good-bye to her.

What really threw me offguard however is that my visitors in trying to console me took my bible and using scripture Ecclesiastes 9:5, tried to tell me there is no hell, and that in death, we no longer exist, it is as if we are sleeping and are unaware of anything at all once we die.

This was supposed to bring me COMFORT?

At first I was so shocked, I did not say anything. I had made an assumption that these two ladies were Christians because they used my bible to go along with their brochure. I do not know anything about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe because I have never sat down and spoke with someone about their beliefs who practice this religion. It dawned on me that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses at this point in the conversation, but they never told me this verbally.

I read the same passage of scripture that was interpretted by the visitors in such a strange way and I explained that I interpretted it to mean that the memory of those who die fades away on earth because once our own family is gone, who is left here to remember us through generations? Even our family will have a hard time remembering details. After they left, I took the time to read the entire chapter and realized many more things about the passage that led me to believe the scripture did not indicate what my visitors told me. When you have a chance, read the entire passage yourself and see what conclusions you have from it, too. I want an expanded bible and this passage would be one I would love to look up in just such a bible. (Maybe I will ask for one as a Christmas present!)

There was definitely no comfort in the consolation the visitors offered. They seemed to mean well and genuinely thought this would lessen my pain. I explained that scripture tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. This is what I believe. I told them I am sad simply because of the season of grief I am in, because I miss my loved ones so much.

This is a pain for me to bare that will gradually get less severe with time. One of the visitors said she was taught when she was little that her relatives who had passed away were watching her from heaven. She said she used to be scared of what her grandparents would catch her doing if she misbehaved as a child. She said now that she knows they are in this sleep state she actually had nothing to fear at the time. I told her that I do not believe my mother-in-law is watching me to see whether I am good or bad. I believe she is beholding JESUS. She is in a place where there is no more pain, tears, sorrow or death. This means God must shield her from the sad things that happen to her loved ones here on earth. I have no fear of her being my judge for the Lord is my judge. She did not reply to that statement.

I cannot imagine that anyone would be consoled thinking we die and perish into nothingness. The second part of John 3:16 says that whoever believes in Jesus won’t perish…they will have everlasting life. There is nothing about an unawareness mentioned. We will be with our creator and that is consolation.

Even when I am sad, I still have joy. I believe happiness and joy are two different things. I have joy even in my sorrow because of God’s promises throughout His Word. I see joy in the lives these three women who lived for the Lord. Each funeral was so precious as the sermons spanned the Christian life of each Godly woman. I recall the pastor used the beatitudes to describe how my mother-in-law lived her life as Jesus taught we should live. Her life was such a great example of how we each should live for our Lord. She had a true servant’s heart. I miss her so very much. EVERY SINGLE DAY I think of things I would like to talk to her about, but that season of life here on earth is now over.

Going forward, I realized as these visitors were talking to me that I need a great healing to get through with alot of my grieving issues. The only way to be fed is in God’s Word. I know He is the only one that can supply my needs and help me with this hole inside me that needs mending. I learned a valuable lesson in how thankful once again I am that I was raised in church and grounded in the Word from the time I could walk. I am so glad His Word was hidden in my heart to be brought to mind when I needed it most, just as He often does for us. Be very cautious when others offer you spiritual advice, especially if you do not know them or their background. The bible teaches to be discerning of the scriptures. He also puts mentors in our lives to help us when we have questions. The most important thing is wisdom. This is a gift He gives us as we are ready for it. It is something to pray for as we grow in Christ. Knowledge and wisdom are two very different things. Many can know the scriptures, but only the wise can understand them. This does not make them smarter than others. As I said, wisdom comes from God.

I do not often speak my mind unless asked first. I felt compelled to write this down, though and keep it close at hand as I heal in the coming weeks, months and years.

If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.

May God bless you and give you wisdom when you study His Word!

Little tidbits of my life

Teresa

My Birthday Cake


Normally I would post a recipe on my recipe blog, but I am just going to post a link to the blogspot that the recipe originated instead.

http://sweetandcrumby.com/2010/07/26/a-whopper-of-a-cake/

For my birthday, I made MYSELF a 4 layer Chocolate Malt Chocolate Cake…all from scratch and WONDERFUL!!! I have wanted to try this cake for over a month and FINALLY my tastebuds were NOT disappointed! The only things I did different from the recipe were to bake in 10 inch pans and instead of using whoppers, I decorated with the leftover semi-sweet chocolate chips because I bought a 24 oz bag. By using the 10 inch pans, I was able to use ALL the frosting! It was JUST ENOUGH.

This is quite possibly the best chocolate cake I have ever made and I used to make cakes on a somewhat professional level! There is just something about the different chocolates…dutch cocoa…semi-sweet chocolate…all the rich chocolates that I LOVE!

ANYWAY, I obviously enjoyed my birthday cake. This year felt like I had several weeks of birthday celebration, as though I were a child again instead of a 37 year old. Life is getting back to normal, except with leftover cake! YUM

Little tidbits of my life!

Teresa

The Lion in my house


As many of you who often read my blog know, I have indoor cats. One of my cats is a ragdoll cat named Buster. He has long hair and is hot ALL the time. He lays around on the stone in front of the fireplace or just hangs out on top of the air vents when the air conditioner is on. For awhile he has needed to be shaved. I have been very leary of this idea because one of my best friends and neighbor as a child had a chow who…well I guess you would call it…went into shock from the grooming and never was the same afterwards.

Well Buster, he is pitiful. He grooms himself constantly and leaves what looks like big cottonballs literally all over the house. I had to buy a special vacuum (the Bissell pet hair vacuum) just because of him. He often gets sick from the hairballs and he thinks I am the ENEMY when I give him hairball medicine, but it HAS to be done to keep him from choking….and I feel so helpless when he is trying to get rid of one…nothing I can do but just hope he doesnt get it on my carpet (hehe)….seriously, it is scary to see a cat gagging and choking all the time.

On my facebook page this week, one of my friends had posted a pic of her mother’s himalayan cat who looked alot like my Buster, but was alot lighter. When I asked her about the cat, I found out that the cat is shaved twice a year and she was lighter because it was her undercoat! She said the grooming changed this particular cat’s personality for the better because she felt so much better. She became more sociable and just LOVED the haircut. She gave me the info for the veterinary clinic who shaves her. I decided to make Buster an appointment.

That is the background for my story today. I want to tell this as a life lesson because Buster’s actions to the entire preperation process really hit me as how we act as God’s children alot of times.

The instructions I was given seemed simple enough…no food after 6 pm and no water after 10 pm. Make sure Buster is at the clinic between 7 am and 8:30 am and pick him up any time after 3:30 pm. because he would have to be sedated for the procedure. He also needed his shots (just a side note…but he got those while sedated, so no trauma there, yay!)

Of course everything looks simple written down, but for a cat like Buster, putting his food bowl up at 6 pm was a MAJOR EVENT! I feed Buster and Sassy with an automatic feeder, so they just take a nibble here and there, but mostly in the evening and night, then go to bed and do not usually eat again until suppertime because I also give them treats at designated times.  No sweat, not much to do… Put their automatic feeder in the large container that we keep the bag of cat food in…the water is in our master bathroom, so at 10 pm just close the door and we are all set!

[X] FOOD BOWL TAKEN AWAY

Well at first Buster attempted the loving approach. He jumped up on the back of my recliner and just leaned his whole 18 lb body over on my head and purred, purred, purred. He did this literally for about 30 minutes. I feed them in the den, about 10 feet from my recliner. There is a little sink, refrigerator and bar in that area that is “their” domain. Sassy (gray tabby) just quietly sat on the edge of the bar, patiently waiting. I think she knew that I have never withheld food for very long, so she was just simply not too worried about it, just waiting. She is a wise and patient kitty. HAHA

After Buster attempted the loving approach of nuzzling my head for 30 minutes or so, he finally gave up and huffed VERY LOUDLY and jumped down, then raced down the hall in a tantrum. He acted much like a very angry and spoiled child. He is a vocal cat, so he was fussing the whole time.

When he jumped down, it scared Sassy, so she ran, too. This was a bad idea because he took his frustrations out on her. I could hear them wrestling (they are both declawed on the front, so their fighting is usually pretty harmless) and Sassy started whining. This meant Buster was really mad because usually he does not get the best of Sassy. I told Buster to leave her alone. This got his attention long enough for Sassy to go hide. She is only about 8 lb soaking wet.

[X] Water Taken Away

Bedtime was pretty much a repeat of loving/anger/loving/anger. When I went to bed, Buster immediately jumped up beside me. I have a king size bed and Buster sleeps on the corner. Most of the time he starts out at the foot of the bed on top of the covers, and then by early morning, he is laying beside my head on the corner. I even lay a blanket out there for him. Well this night he went straight to his blanket purring and loving. He wanted a treat. I always give them a treat just before bedtime. When he realized I was not going to get up and get a treat, he huffed VERY LOUDLY AGAIN and then took a GIANT LEAP clear across the king size bed to the floor, never touching the end of the bed, and started chasing Sassy again. She finally got away and hid under the bed. He will not go under the bed, so she was safe there.

FINALLY, I fell asleep, so I have no idea what he did during my sleep.

I got up at 6 am and Buster was laying beside me asleep. I quickly got a bag of cat treats and although I felt guilty about it, I pretended to throw a treat into the cat carrier. He ran in and I closed the door. Then I got ready to go to town.  The ride to the vet that morning made me think of what I heard called Chinese water torture when I was in elementary school. I do not know if it is true. I think it is where just a drip of water falls intermittently nonstop for hours and drives one insane? I did not call it that to offend anyone reading this that may be Chinese. That is simply the name I heard it was called…ANYWAY, the noise Buster made all the way to town was like that…just an intermittent tone that sounded like a meow of the word “no” every few seconds. No matter what I did, he would not stop. He did not know what was going on. He was hungry and thirsty and MAD, MAD, MAD! SO he wanted to torture me. :o)

I dropped him off and I filled out the necessary paperwork. when I looked in to the front of the cage to tell him bye, he curled himself up in a ball as far away as possible to really make me feel guilty for leaving him. Just seconds before, he had been at the front of the cage looking at the vet tech, so I know this was done “just for me”.

Several hours passed and I was back that evening ready to pick Buster up. I was so ready for him. I had thought about him ALL DAY. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. They brought him in to me and he looked like a lion! He was SO CUTE! He looked like he’d lost about 10 lbs, too! I was SHOCKED! Everyone there just kept gushing over how cute he looked. They left his mane and the hair on his feet and end of his tail. He is just adorable! SO I sat in the back seat and put a big towel in my lap and let him out of the carrier for most of the ride since he was still groggy. FORTUNATELY, he was glad to see me and let me hold him. He enjoyed watching the traffic on the interstate.

Sure enough, he HAS been like a different cat. He has never been a cat to sit in the den all evening or in my lap or even to let me pet him much. BUT now he curls up on the blanket right beside me on the couch and stays in the living room all evening. He LOVES for his back to be rubbed where the hair was shaved. He purrs every time I touch him (in a good way, does not run off). I have not seen him fight with Sassy even ONE time since he has been home. It has been 4 days now! His whole demeanor has changed. He did not hold a grudge toward me. He still follows me around the house like he used to. I have always called him my Butler, but now that he looks like a lion, I hate to give him a servant’s role! HAHA. In the summary below I will refer to myself as master only to make the lesson clear.

There are SO MANY LIFE LESSONS in this story of Buster. Buster did not know WHY his master was treating him this way. Buster tried many approaches to get his master to do things Buster’s way instead of his master’s way. Buster did not consider that the master knew best and was looking out for his good. Buster did not know how much better his life was going to be once the master’s plan was carried out. Buster fought and fought against the master’s plan. Buster’s anger hurt his master as his master had to show tough love and go against Buster’s wishes for his own good. It is too bad he did not enjoy the time with his master, that he did not simply be patient like Sassy. Buster put so much unneeded stress upon himself by NOT trusting his master. He also hurt those around him in the process (Sassy). But now look at how happy he is! He is cool, calm, his belly is full and he has all the water he could ever want…plus now he can enjoy closeness with us, which he could not do before because he was just simply too hot to sit with us! THE MASTER KNOWS BEST! TRUST THE MASTER!

Why do we so often want to do things OUR way instead of God’s way…why as Christians can we not see that God’s Plan is that we trust Him so much that our Will becomes the SAME as His will? My cat helped me really see just how much I have to learn about keeping with God’s Will and not following a different path. HE is not the enemy, so why in the world do we so often treat HIM like HE is? The song “Trust and obey, there is no other way”…sounds easy, but is so hard….oh but that sweet peace and joy we will find if we trust and obey our Lord! He DOES know best! His ways are not our ways, but HE is teaching us and guiding us….we must LISTEN and NOT RUN THE OTHER WAY, do not be a fickle Christian…be steadfast…it is all part of the process of maturing as a Christian.

I love this pic because he looks mad, but it is just because he has ice blue eyes. It is so hard to get a pic of his eyes! If I put it on the red eye reduction setting, he blinks, so instead I get a pic like this! He’s a cutie, though! He’s a gift from God and I am thankful for him!

I hope you enjoyed this litte tidbit from my life!

My little Morgan Mae


Posted on July 8, 2011

I attended the Spring Social at my mother’s church in May 2011. I had NO IDEA that one of the topics they would talk about was aborted or miscarried babies. One of the speakers told of a wonderful place in Chattanooga that has a wall where people associated with aborted babies by abortion can order a plaque in memory of a child that was aborted…doesnt have to be mother, can be anyone in family…BUT they ALSO have bricks for the garden area in memory of miscarried babies. It is called the National Memorial for the Unborn.

While I was sitting there hearing the ladies tell their many stories of healing and also closure, I kept thinking about the time I had a positive pregnancy stick in Spring of 2002. We had only been married since Nov 2001, still young’uns.

This beautiful Spring day in 2002 was best and worst day of my life. I went through all the emotions of one who just found out she was pregnant. I did the test at WORK! I was so shocked that it was positive that I ran out of the stall…had the sense to pull up my pants first…and asked another lady who happened to be in there if I was imagining there were two lines because the second line was faint. She verified there were DEFINITELY two blue lines. We got the kit and verified this meant positive, EVEN if the second line was faint, it said it right there on the box. I cried and told her when I was 15 I had an ovarian cyst and was scheduled to have a partial hysterectomy, but miraculously the cyst was gone when the doctors went in to do the surgery. I was told at the time that I would likely have to have some type of procedure to help me if I ever wanted to conceive (I assume he meant IVF, etc., I was too young to discuss at the time). I was in shock from the pregnancy test, but had been sick and had all symptoms, which is why I took the test in the first place. I knew I could only be a month or two along because I hadn’t missed a period, but wasn’t heavy at last period, either so I could have been wrong as to how far along I would be at this point. The point is I WAS PREGNANT!!! The lady was as nervous as I was…keep in mind I worked for a lawyer at a bank and this lady in the restroom that day was one of the VP’s of the whole bank. It was funny that a mere administrative assistant was sharing her pee stick w/a VP! ANYWAY, my boss was not in yet and I was a wreck. This kind lady told me I needed to go to the doctor and she would take the heat because I would be no use until I went to my doctor. I hugged her and left.

I had not seen this doctor for very long. I knew practically nothing about her EXCEPT she could see me right away, a gynecologist. She did another urine test and this was at least a full hour later. It was negative. She came in the room and said “Thank God you are NOT pregnant!” Then she lit into me about not scheduling “preconception counseling” with her before my husband and I tried to conceive! I was so upset and taken aback! I had just finished telling my husband we were pregnant and this lady is telling me it is a blessing we are not!!! She rambled and I tuned her out. I got up and went to the waiting room to leave. I had been too stunned to tell the doctor what I thought of her. I was in SHOCK. I recall the waiting room receptionist had been excited for me and asked me “well are you okay?” I burst into tears and told her NO and that she worked for a VERY MEAN WOMAN. I told her what happened and not to ever expect me back there again. I left.

I sat in my car in the parking lot crying as I had never cried before. I still felt pregnant. I was still so sick I had to hold my head in my hands for the spinning. I called my husband and he said to call our family doctor. This was a good idea. My family doctor had known my family before I was ever born. I called and he agreed to see me right away. By this time it was getting later in the day. He decided to do a blood test. He came in the room with tears in his eyes and told me it was negative. He was so brokenhearted to have to tell me this. I had already told him what my day had been like and he had told me it was not normal to get false positives, only false negatives and that the lady gynecologist had taken the test with urine that was not first of the day, so is common to get false negative early in pregnancy. This is why he decided to do the bloodtest.

I called my husband again and had to tell him the worst news imaginable was confirmed. He was at work all this time and a wreck. He was just getting used to the idea that he was a dad and then I had to tell him he was not a dad. He asked me not to tell him if I do another HPT again, just to wait until the doctor confirms it because he could not take it, especially while working. I agreed and I told him I could not either!

Well the next day, I had one of the worst periods I had ever had. I truly believe I miscarried regardless of any of the tests. I had no way of confirming it, though since they had ruled out pregnancy.

Four years later after many attempts through fertility drugs, surgeries to clear up endometriosis, lupron shots and keeping up with my ovulation EVERY SINGLE MONTH with a kit, I had finally had to have a hysterectomy. Two weeks after the hysterectomy, I went in for my pathology results. I should mention I now have the most wonderful doctor ever for a gynecologist and he and his staff are definitely an answer to my prayer after that awful woman…well Dr. Griggs looked at me and his first words were “when were you pregnant, Teresa?”. I told him I had not had any children. He asked me when I had miscarried. I then with a relieved expression on my face told him of my ordeal. He told me that he believed wholeheartedly I was correct, that I did miscarry. He then told me that my pathology results showed that I had a disease in the wall of my uterus that only pregnant women can get. It is similar to endometriosis and occurs as the wall stretches from pregnancy. He said I would be the only woman in history that he has ever heard of to get it without ever being pregnant and he highly doubts statistically that is the case.

This is when I told him I knew my little Morgan is waiting for me in heaven and I will be reunited with her one day. He was astonished that I was not upset or bothered by his news. I think he is always perplexed by me, though. I told him I am a christian and I believe God took my baby on with Him (and I also believe my baby is a she, cannot explain why, I just know that). I also told him that my good friend in high school’s mother passed away a few years ago and her last words on earth as she stretched her arms out toward the ceiling were “oh, its my baby!”. My friend was perplexed, but his dad just had a smile on his face. He explained that they had lost a child after their firstborn. They had never told the next two children because it was too painful to talk about. That child was the first thing God let her see as she went to Heaven.

WELL so after this dinner at my mom’s church, I talked to my husband about the memorial garden, then I contacted one of the speakers from mom’s church who works at the memorial garden. I ordered a brick in memory of our Morgan Mae Smith.

We placed the brick in the garden today. We found a serene spot by a beautiful pond and it just felt like the right place to me.

This has helped give me a bit of closure and validation somehow that others will see her name, too. I don’t know that it really matters, but have certainly been looking forward to seeing it on the brick. The gardens are very peaceful. They also have a little chapel and you can have a service if you’d like, but I chose not to since it has been 9 years now. I figured just the two of us going that first time to place the brick will be ideal. Inside the chapel is a wall of plaques dedicated to names of aborted babies where mothers or family members have found a way to come to terms with this decision and get forgiveness, closure, a way to let the baby know they are wanted afterall. The pictures below are taken inside the chapel.

My 35th Birthday Today


Posted August 22, 2008

Well, that’s right! I turned 35 years old today!

FIRST OF ALL, guess what had opened a bloom today on my birthday! YES, that same peace lily I had blogged about here: click here. This was the first time it has bloomed since I posted that blog! What a special birthday treat for me!

GUESS WHAT I DID TODAY? I threw myself a birthday party for my sisters/brothers-in-laws and parents/parents-in-laws and hubby’s grandmothers. No, I do not normally throw parties for myself, but this was a special occassion indeed. As I have blogged about previously, my family heard that my rheumatologist said I need to do water aerobics to help my fibromyalgia. my family all pitched in and helped me to buy a nice above-ground pool!!!

SO I threw this party as thanks to them for doing something so SPECIAL for me! They turned this FM problem into something wonderful! I LOVE exercising in the pool. As a matter of fact, it is really the only time I feel VERY good. I am still exhausted when I am in the pool, so I do not do anything major, but just to be able to move my arms and legs around freely is SO WONDERFUL! I had purchased a hammock float (which I had never heard of before researching for pools) and it is PERFECT to fit all my needs in the pool!

We had BBQ pizza delivered by a local restaurant and I decorated my dining room and back deck with a tropical theme. I had purchased two games to play: pineapple bowling and ALOHA bingo, but we ended up just sitting around and eating and talking and generally enjoying each others’ company.

I had originally planned on this being a pool party, but because everyones’ allergies have been so bad this week, we just stayed inside in the air conditioning.

NOW, on to the PICTURES! Do you ever host something like this and take pics of the decorations before everyone gets there, and THEN forget to take a single picture while all the guests are there??? WELL that is exactly what I did today. SO the following pics are just decorations. I will explain each one as we go.

This is the centerpiece…too funny, huh???

This is the entrance to the back deck

This is the back deck

This is the back deck

This is the back deck table centerpiece. I made the ducks, lily pads and flower out of play-doh.

This is a close-up of the centerpiece. I had made a mama duck, too, but I dried her too long and she cracked and lost a wing!!! SO I felt she was not up to a party in her condition. LOL

My dad built these steps because the ladder that came with the pool was WAY too unstable.

My sister Lavonda and her husband were the first to arrive and they brought these CUTE Tiki monkeys for me, so I added them to the dining room centerpiece

This was the punch we had. I will share the recipe below it because it was SUPER easy and VERY GOOD.

Both my parents are diabetics, so I was trying to come up with something they could drink, too. SO I bought Diet Sunkist (orange) and Bryer’s NO SUGAR ADDED vanilla ice cream. We put the ice cream in the punch bowl and poured Sunkist on top of it. It tasted much like creamsicles, which we ALL LOVED. I had forgotten to refrigerate the Sunkist, so it melted the ice cream too quickly, so if you use the same recipe, be sure to refrigerate the Sunkist first!

NOW, I had also had prizes ready in case we played the games I mentioned above. They were just silly prizes, but cute. Below is a pic of the prize bag.

NOW, the bag holding the prizes was actually a beach bag I had made my mother-in-law last year for her vacation to Orange Beach. I used machine embroidery and I had purchased the embroidery design online…I think I got it at emblibrary.com, but can’t remember for sure. I designed the bag myself and also put my MIL’s name on the front. I thought it turned out so CUTE. I will include pic of back, and the inside pocket that is deep enough for suntan lotion on one side and shallow enough for keys, change, whatever in the other section…and it zipped. I wish I’d made me one! LOL

Thank you for visiting! Have a great weekend!

Teresa