Pieces of My Puzzle

I always find it strange….the smallest moments, objects, or thoughts that will quickly turn my thoughts to my Dad. I always feel that same startling catch in my breath when it happens…almost as if I have forgotten for just a moment that he’s gone. Tonight it was jigsaw puzzles at Hobby Lobby. As soon as I saw them displayed at the end of the aisle I went straight over, my mind instantly thinking “I should get Dad another puzzle for Christmas”. He always loved working them especially during the winter. Then the reality of the past 8 months set in and I quickly pushed my buggy by the puzzle display. It’s hard losing a parent. Even as a 40 year old woman I’m left with a lost feeling without him being here. He was a part of me, I have so much of him inside of me. He’s one of the main reasons I felt compelled to start writing this blog. His death has left me with so many emotions. I’ve never lost anyone close to me before this and haven’t quite been sure how to handle the feelings. Maybe giving myself an outlet here for these thoughts will help not only me, but someone else who may stumble across these pages as well.

I found this quote several weeks ago….and was taken back with how true it really is.

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I see death differently now. Almost as if it is a club. I hear of someone losing a parent now and have a completely different reaction than I did before. I was always genuinely sympathetic before, but truly had no clue how the other person felt. Unfortunately, now I do identify completely. Each time I have heard of someone losing a parent I have felt that familar pain wash over me, upon hearing and/or reading any details, I am immediately taken back to my Daddy’s last few days. I wonder if it will always be this way….. will it always be so fresh, so new, so memorable for me. I know that there are things that I will never forget about those last few days.

I recently read a blog post by someone that had lost her mother. In this post she went over some details of her mother’s last few days. Of course I was able to identify with this, I had seen some of the same things, felt the same emotions, I had been in her shoes. I realized while reading this blog that I have never went over these types of details with anyone. Does anyone really want to hear these details? Hear about the things I saw that I will never be able to forget, the sounds I heard, the feelings I had. It’s a hard story to tell and just as hard to hear. I could talk about it with my family, but it’s hard for them to hear as well even though they did live it right beside me. We prefer to talk about our good memories, share the funny stories, relive the good times over and over. So for now my thoughts will go here, as I continue on this journey doing my best to live each day to its fullest….I know Daddy would approve! 🙂

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Weekend Away!

The weekends always seem so short!!! Especially when they are as busy as this past weekend was for us! We went back to my boyfriend’s hometown to move some more of his belongings here (YAY! 🙂 ) While we were there we were invited to an authentic Japanese dinner by a friend of the family. WOW! The food was out of this world…amazing….delicious!! And so much of it! I even tried sushi for the very first time! Talk about stepping out of one’s box…that is something I would have never tried before. Fortunately the new me is open to new experiences! I have to admit I was a little nervous about trying it! Everyone watching …waiting for my reaction. And it was ….o.k.! I didn’t feel the need to spit any  part of it out! Definitely a win for new experiences! We were also served fried and steamed dumplings for our appetizers. Dinner started with a salad with this awesome Oriental Salad Dressing that I must find for sell somewhere! Then came the miso soup (yesss…just like in the Japanese restaurants!) Then we had a chicken dish with some type of chow mein type noodles and a beef and noodle dish. Both were very good! Just when we thought dinner was over, we were presented with yet another plate full of a variety of food. Shrimp, chicken, salads, steak marinated in ginger, rice…..we ate until we couldn’t move! It was all delicious! The entertainment that went along with our dinner was just as good as the food. A 70 year old Japanese woman telling stories about her life, about her culture and her family. The evening ended with everyone taking turns singing karaoke! Our hostess even sang two beautiful Japanese songs! It was a delightful evening spent with family and friends and I only wish we all lived closer and could have these type of evenings together more often!

Making Just a Normal Day Spectacular!

It’s a Monday……I hate Monday’s! All the kids at work are cranky because they want another “stay home day” ….and I’m cranky ’cause I want one too!!!! But knowing that I get to come home to my own little world here makes everything that much more bearable. I have always enjoyed cooking…it is the fact of having to cook that I never liked before. I liked cooking when I wanted to cook. I also do not like cooking the same things over and over and over…I would never be one of these people that have “Taco Tuesdays” or what not. So as part of this new me my thoughts on cooking have changed as well! I no longer feel as if it is a chore that I have to dread throughout the day. I actually look forward to coming home each evening and cooking. Of course there are nights when I’m just not feeling it! The day was just too long and I just want to veg on the couch and order a pizza and that works out just fine! I’m also trying out new types of recipes that I would have never imagined cooking before. The teenage son has even given up his standard meal of chicken tenders and mac &  cheese to try a meal or two! The best part is that all of the meals I have cooked have  been healthy and mostly low calorie! The boyfriend and I are working on losing weight and living healthier lifestyles. It is a difficult task! The unhealthy choices are always so tempting and convenient!

Anyway, back to the topic of tonight’s blog. This amazing man I have been so lucky to fall in love with has this incredible ability to turn any normal day (yep even a Monday) into a spectacular day! I look forward to our talks while I’m cooking dinner; we each discuss our days and share any news we may have. Even now, just sitting here on the couch together gives me such a comforting feeling (he is busy on his laptop and I’m on mine). I like knowing the lonely days are over and look forward to spending forever with him! I wish everyone could feel this level of happiness! Thanks for reading! Time to go finish up my work I brought home and spend the rest of the evening snuggled up!

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Tonight’s Dinner: Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers…..Yummy!

Welcome to my Odyssey!

od·ys·sey: noun \ˈä-də-sē\

: a long journey full of adventures

: a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone

The last few years of my life have been quite the journey! I have ended a 13 year business partnership (and 30+ year friendship in the process) in August 2012, a 15 year marriage ended in divorce, and lost my father after a long illness in March of 2014. Each of these events have caused many changes in not only my life and way of living, but in myself and who I am as well. I often say I spent the last 2 years trying to find myself. Thankfully, I do believe I have finally found me! I have gained much knowledge and understanding throughout this odyssey of mine. My plan now is to use this blog to sort out my thoughts on life, put them all down, and if it helps someone else out along the way, all the better!

I have met a truly amazing man that has shown me a love like I have never felt before. His love is so deep and complete, the kind you only read about in romance novels or see in the movies. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to spend each and everyday with him! We cherish our time together and try our hardest not to take one second for granted! We love our weekend adventures that sometimes take us out of town, or sometimes happen right in our own backyard. Today’s adventure was what started as a simple walk on a rails to trail path here in town. This trail has become one of our favorites due to its beautiful scenery. We were walking a part of the trail that I had never been on today, when we came to a breathtaking stone bridge. You had to lean way over the bank to even see the amazing architecture of the bridge. I wanted to be able to get a picture and he wanted to explore a trail down below. So, we made our way down a steep, rocky cliff to the creek below the bridge. The scenery was beautiful, the camera could have never captured enough of the pure beauty to do the scene justice! We walked along the trail for awhile before returning back to the waterfall. We made our way back up the cliff (much easier than we thought! minus one slip up in the mud!) and headed back to our car. Just another beautiful day spent with my love!  photo(1)photo