Archive for January, 2013

Saturday, January 1, 2011

So this is 2011; so full of possibilities…starting out with a heart full of joy.  This was my Facebook status for New Year’s Day.  We’re just part way through the restoration tour and so much has happened.

There’s so much still to do, but it doesn’t seem daunting at all.  On the contrary, it seems joyful and wonderful and I can’t wait to continue our journey forward.  We are learning, loving, and restoring as we go, with August 6th as our target.

I’m so glad North Point Church has Saturday services.  It’s going to be so amazing today to worship the Lord, who has made this all possible, on the first day of the new year with Ceecee and Angie by my side.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What a day for reflecting and being thankful.  What a day, period.  Make that, What a day, exclamation point!

It’s the last day of 2010 and I’m completely overwhelmed.  First of all, we’re back home.  We left a little early yesterday to race an oncoming winter storm.  It was moving from west to east and we didn’t want to take a chance on getting stuck, so we headed out and beat it back to Springfield.

It caught up to us after we got here and we’re pretty much snowed in, which is just the way we like it.  Our loft is right downtown, so if we need anything, we can walk down to the Bistro Market or any of the downtown eateries, but we’re warm, we have a great view, and we have everything we need.

Most importantly, we have each other, and a love that just keeps growing.  It keeps getting deeper and richer and I’m treasuring every moment of it.  Today Ceecee said I’m the peanut butter to her jelly.  That about sums it up, I guess.

It’s new year’s eve and when this year started, I had no idea that our marriage was nearly at its end.  I had pretty much been numb for so long, that I wouldn’t have known much of anything about what was going on in Ceecee’s heart or in her life.  I was just going through the motions most of the time because I wasn’t healthy and didn’t have any idea what to do.

Of course, the Spring was when our separation really began.  Ceecee hadn’t moved out yet, but she left me emotionally before she actually found her own place.  I spent the first few months trying to figure out how to stop it all from happening and the next few months changing, getting help, and learning to love her and winning her back.  By time school started, I had moved in to her place and we were gingerly putting the pieces back together.

The plan for the year we are calling the restoration tour was birthed then and it has gained momentum with each passing month.  There has been so much healing that I can’t possibly even attempt to chronicle it all here.  In the background, there is still pain and fear.  It comes from what we went through and some things we’re still dealing with, but it becomes less important as time separates us from it all more and more and we continue to make things new.

Today has been another one of those magical days – a fairy tale.  It’s the kind of day I had given up on.  Here I am though, living the dream.  I can’t take the credit.  It was God who brought this about and Ceecee’s heart that was willing to be changed to love again that’s made this possible.  This was both the worst and the best year of my life, if that makes any sense.  One thing is for certain.  I will never go back to the way things were.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Had a nice run through the streets of Dodge City this morning.  It’s one of our least favorite places for a plethora of reasons, but it’s where Ceecee’s Mom and Step-Dad live and close to my daughter as well.  We’ve hardly worked out or trained at all recently, so we decided we better do some running while we’re here.

Dodge City was where we lived when my spiritual decline really began.  We only moved there because we felt that God was calling us to.  We went through a painful church split and a number of other things that caused a lot of bitterness for me.  We were victims of numerous property crimes, had some falling out with people we had been close to, and got into financial difficulties with two houses that we owned.

Although it was wrong to do so, I blamed God and began to shut down.  I started shutting off my emotions toward Ceecee as well, although I didn’t entirely realize it.  We finally left and moved to Missouri as kind of a plea to be allowed to go and try to start over somewhere else.

This afternoon, we went walking downtown and through the old neighborhood.  We reminisced and romanced and it was wonderful to be in a place where we had gone through so much frustration and pain, but now had overcome it and were in such a different place, both literally and emotionally.  We had endured everything that had come against us and come out of it more in love and better people than we had been before.

Monday, December 27, 2010

 

Back in our beloved St. Louis.  We stopped to eat at Guido’s on The Hill, which we always enjoy.  It brought back so many good memories, but especially of the day while we were separated and we brought my daughter to St. Louis.  That was the day when we sat at Guido’s and Ceecee began to recall good memories from our past, not the painful and difficult ones she had been stuck on for so long before that.

We all laughed a  lot that day and it seemed like something had changed in the dynamics of our relationship.  Ceecee confirmed later that I was right and that she had indeed begun to entertain a little hope that day that maybe things could work out for us.

Tomorrow we hit the road again, going west this time.  We’ll be staying in Dodge City, Ks as the tour continues…

Saturday, December 25, 2010

 

Another of God’s little blessings as we woke up to a totally unexpected white Christmas this morning in Clarksville.  It was the perfect kind, with a very gently falling snow and just enough to look pretty without being enough to cause any disruption.  We’re just hanging out here with Ceecee’s family for a few days, eating good food and enjoying the hospitality.

Taylor called this morning.  He got to talk to us and to many of the relatives who are here.  A lot of them are former military, so they were able to encourage him and give him advice.  He seems to be doing so much better and is looking forward to his graduation.  He told us some things he wants us to bring.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The drive to Tennessee today was fun and uneventful.  We had a small Christmas this morning with just the two of us before we got on the road.  We opened our stockings (yes, Santa still fills them even with no kids in the house) and exchanged a few gifts.  Even that was part of the restoration tour as we exchanged cycling jerseys we had bought for each other.  The meaning in that gesture was something that only we would understand and it also kept us pointed toward next August’s Tour De Cox, the day we will also renew our vows as the culminating moment of the restoration tour.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yesterday I made Irish stew for the first time and it was much better than I even imagined.  We just found a recipe and decided to give it a try.  It’s definitely a keeper!

The 12 days have been a real blessing this year.  Sometimes in the past, they have been stressful.  Money has been tight, or it’s been difficult to find things.  This year, I’ve really been able to sense God in all of it.  It’s been fun and so easy to find just the right gifts.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The prevailing conclusion among the physical therapists about what’s causing my knee pain is my feet. They are blaming it on a combination of my being flat-footed and having a left leg that is slightly shorter than my right. Custom orthotics is the proposed solution, so I got fitted for them today.

They also have suggested that when I got a video analysis of my running gait done and changed both the types of shoes I was wearing and the way I ran, that I may have messed myself up that way. Bottom line is that I still haven’t and probably never will get a definitive answer to what the problem is. They’re just hypothesizing and trying things.

I’ve gotten new shoes again, custom orthotics, and instructions to try to forget everything I was trying to change and just go back to running without thinking about it. It’s frustrating, but maybe it will all work. I haven’t really been trying to run while doing therapy, but he wants me to start with a half mile or so and try building up and see whether it hurts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yesterday, we did a small holiday meal with Angie and Ian and my parents, along with a small gift exchange. Most people spend the holidays with their families, and Ceecee and I have kind of made it a tradition to get away and spend them by ourselves. This year, we are radically departing from that.

We did the meal with our local relatives yesterday, and we will be going to Tennessee to spend Christmas with much of Ceecee’s family there. We’ll come back and then head to Kansas to spend a few days after with Ceecee’s Mom and Step-dad and two of our daughters. Taylor is still at basic, but we did get a call from him the other night and he sounded much better. We set it up for him to call while we’re in Tennessee for Christmas, so he can talk to a lot of the family.

Ceecee received a gift from the daughter she put up for adoption and who has recently come into our lives. It was a picture frame with a baby picture in it and it meant a great deal to her. It will really be something to meet in person, which I’m sure will happen before too long.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I was thinking that I would quit Macy’s as of the end of the year. Second jobs are a problem at tax time, so if I was done by New Year’s, at least we would only be impacted for one tax year. Between Dillard’s and Macy’s this year, I think we’re going to end up taking a bath on our income tax.

Anyway, notice I said I was thinking of it. As in past tense. Now, it looks like I’ll be on at least into the early part of next year. Not a big deal, but it allows us not to worry about all the travel we’ll be doing over the next few weeks and will help with the extra expenses of Christmas.

The 12 Days have been fun so far. No huge gifts, although the second day was kind of a big deal. I bought two tickets to the musical, “Chicago.” Ceecee had such a good time going to Cats that I decided I want to take her to the theater more in the future. Each year, our local little theater does a Christmas play and this year it was “Miracle On 34th Street.”

Unfortunately, I hadn’t learned my lesson yet, and I waited too long to buy tickets. By the time I went to the box office, there were no longer any shows left with two seats together. Since we weren’t going to go and not sit together, we missed it. Thus, the Chicago tickets for the second day of Christmas. See, the play isn’t until April, so it’s kind of lame that she gets them now and they literally sit somewhere for four months. On the other hand, it shows that I won’t let them slip away and that I know how much this means to her to be able to go.