If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Choosing To Be Happy

By nature, I am a happy person.  As long as I can remember, I've always been happy and full of energy (my Mom might say "spastic" but I like full of energy).  As I've gotten older, staying in my happy frame of mind has become a lot harder.  Everyday life will sometimes suck the life right out of you and some days, even though I have good intentions, I'm not always smiling by the time my head hits my pillow.

Life is hard.  Choices are tough.  Figuring out God's plan sometimes seems impossible.  So, with all that said, I am choosing to be happy and I want you to hold me accountable.  My day is so much better when I push my fears to the side and put a smile on my face.  Is that always easy?  Ummm, no!  Some days, no matter how big the smile on my face or the faux spring in my step, deep in my heart I can feel the dread.  Ugh, I hate those days!  Dang it, when I want to be happy, I really WANT to be happy!

One of our biggest blessings since spending time in California has been our church that we found in Burbank.  God has used this church and the church members to speak to me in ways in which I never would have been able to understand under ordinary circumstances.  One more reason why I am so grateful that we listened to that little voice and stepped out in faith on this adventure.

Did you know that 1 billion (yes, that's billion with a "B") people every night go to bed without food or shelter?  Unbelievable.  My family always has food and a safe and cozy place to live and even though we are not all living in the same house right now, I feel that we are moving in that direction.  We are all healthy, able to work, have cars that run and although money is tight, if we need something we are able to afford it.  And yes, we are still clueless as to what tomorrow's plan will be but I have decided that's not my job to figure that out.  My responsibility is to wake up and be ready for whatever God sends my way.  I am resolved to do that with a smile on my face.  Yep, I'm choosing to be happy.  How about you?  Won't you join me and let's see what kind of difference we can make.

Just a little reminder to myself.

"Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."
~Matthew 6:3

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another Year of Celebrating the Ewing Trifecta

When Brad and I planned our wedding for the day after my 25th birthday, we had no idea that 22 years later, we would have three celebrations right in a row and that it would take us a week to recover.

We still laugh at the circumstances that brought Cole into this world on March 15th.  Brad and I had gone out to celebrate my birthday (3/13) and our anniversary (3/14) with some "friends".  I use the term friends loosely because we honestly did not know this couple very well but thought it would be fun to celebrate with them.  I was hungry before we even left to go to dinner at Shogun's Japanese Steakhouse so when our meal was served, I devoured my dinner.  I'm not talking about daintily picking at my food but more like a person-who-has-been-shipwrecked-for-months-with-no-food kind of eating.  I polished off my plate then turned to my right where I finished Brad's steak then turned to my left where I inquired if "Larry" was going to finish his chicken and if he wasn't, would he mind if I did.  What sane man is going to tell a nine month pregnant woman no?  Not Larry.  After I had eaten off every one's plate, we drove to Aroma Cafe where I had a piece of triple layer chocolate cake and three glasses of milk.  Whew, makes me full just thinking about it.  Anyway, at 2:00 a.m., when I began having contractions, Brad told me it was indigestion and to go back to sleep.  Twelve hours later, Mr. Cole made his way into this world which is why we have three days in a row to celebrate.

Brad arrived in LA on Thursday and it was non-stop fun until he and Spencer flew back to AR Tuesday morning.  On Friday, we planned a surprise party for Cole's 16th birthday and I think he was actually surprised!
We had a mustache party in honor of Cole shaving for the first time.
Notice the cake says, "If you have a facial hair, you're da man."  Obviously, the language barrier with JJ (the baker who was Latino) and Marilyn (the customer who is very Southern) hindered the translation but the cake was delicious.

On Saturday, Brad and I stayed at a very nice hotel called The Beverly Garland and had fun sitting by the pool, drinking cocktails and totally relaxing.
It was absolutely perfect.  After a fabulous dinner with friends, we had great plans of sleeping late only to be woken at 6:30 a.m. by the largest earthquake in LA in the past 20 years.  After being in LA for almost three years, it is the first one I have not slept through and it scared me to death (especially since we were not at home with the boys).  Fortunately, there was no damage and the boys slept through it so all was well.

We rounded out the weekend with church, a movie, putt putt golf (I WON!!!!) and grilling steaks.  Whew, I'm tired.

My family and friends know me so well because every gift I received was a gift certificate for a massage (stress much?), a candle (I'm obsessed with smells), a funny dog/cat book & a gift card to Starbucks.  By the time I have redeemed all these cards, I will be the most stress free, relaxed, happy and caffeinated person you know!

I was not looking forward to taking Brad and Spencer to the airport this morning but it is the first time I haven't cried so I was proud of myself.  I dropped them off, came home and showered and went to work, rode bikes with Cole in the afternoon, and as soon as the clock says 8:00 p.m., I am going to fall happily in the bed and sleep for 12 hours.  Unless there's another earthquake.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his loyal love endures."
~Psalm 136:1

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Grappling with "No"

I will be the first to admit that my boys are “Rocks of Gibraltar” when it comes to receiving news that is not in their favor.  They absorb the information, mull it over in their minds, and somehow come out of the situation with a positive attitude and more determination than ever before.  I know it is a trait that they inherited from Brad.  As for me?  Ummm, let's just say that rejection is not my strong suit.

The resiliency of children is astonishing to me.  I think of how many times Spencer has heard the word “NO”.  No, you probably won’t live long with that certain type of tumor.  No, you may not walk again.  No, you won’t be able to eat by mouth.  Through 14+ years of hearing the word “NO”, he still remains strong in his faith and his determination.

And then there is Cole...for someone who is used to achieving his goals so easily, nothing has challenged him more than acting.  You cannot be thin skinned and be in the acting business because the word “NO” is doled out like hot cakes to Honey Boo Boo.  He heard it again today when he was told no to the pilot he was testing for last week.  But like a champ, he took the news with a “next time will be different” attitude and moved on.  He too remains strong in his faith and determination and for that, I am truly thankful to God.

Where the men in my family are rocks, I am mush.  Today, I cried for an opportunity lost for Cole.  I cried because Spencer is having problems with his feeding pump and I am angry he can’t eat by mouth.  I cried because I am frustrated that I don’t know the exact plan that God has in mind for our family.  See?  Mush.

But in the stillness and the silence of the evening, God is reminding me that His “NO” means “not yet, I have something better in mind”.  And as I remember His promises, I know that my plan could never ever be as great as His plan.  So, I am drying my tears and being thankful for a family that is resilient, while desperately looking for the chocolate that I hid from myself.
"Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope."
~Ephesians 4:20

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Lakers & Everything Else That's Going On!!!

I am constantly amazed at my friends that have more than two children and their ability to juggle work, said kids and life without being in the fetal position every day of the week.  I mean, honestly, this week I have thought a lot about hiring a driver to drive everyone around, just so I could sit in the back seat with my glass of wine and sing the "Happy" song and not be frazzled.

To recap our week, Cole has had five auditions, two call backs and one "Test" meeting.  Spencer has had TONS of school work (I HATE GEOMETRY!) and has been so sweet to put his plans on hold until next week, just so I could get Cole to all of his appointments this week.

The boys did have some fun on Tuesday night when they were given tickets to a Lakers game.  Now, these weren't just any old seats, but seats that were on the FOURTH row on the floor!  Wow!  Close enough to feel the sweat slinging.  Ugh, that is totally gross.  Anyway, Katrina was gracious enough to procure the tickets and Darin Shea was gracious enough to let the boys ride with him to the game (he and Andrew had tickets as well).
Love the guy in the background in the red pants!

My favorite boys.

Spencer sent a tweet and they put it on the jumbo tron.  If you can't read it, it says, "First Lakers game for the Ewing brothers".  

While the boys are busy, I am also busy working three days a week for Cole's manager, Katrina.  I love that my days and hours are flexible, that Katrina is an absolute joy to work for AND the fact that she has five cats is a definite work incentive for me!  One by one, each cat makes his way to see me at some point each day and I get to snuggle and kiss them until the get fed up and leave. :)

Sassy felt that work should halt while kisses were needed.

Rascal has a love/hate relationship with my purse so after he bites and claws it, he lays on it.

And Harry, well, what can I say.  I succumb to his sweetness every time.

Cole had a meeting for a new pilot yesterday but we won't know anything until Friday or Monday.  We know that God has our best interests at heart so we will wait and see what exciting adventures HE has planned! 

I hope you all have a great weekend.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today."
~Matthew 7:33